New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and NYC & Company, New York City’s tourism and marketing organization, announced that the Muppets will return to New York City in 2012 as the official NYC Family Ambassadors. As part of the year-long collaboration, the Muppets will encourage family travel to the City by highlighting the best ways for families to experience and enjoy the many dining and shopping venues, cultural institutions, parks and attractions across the five boroughs.
In 2011, New York City welcomed 15 million family visitors, contributing approximately $14 billion to New York City’s economy. The Family Ambassador program began in 2009. Since then, family visitation to New York City has increased by 14.4 percent. The announcement was made at The Official NYC Information Center in midtown Manhattan, where Mayor Bloomberg was joined by NYC & Company CEO George Fertitta, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Gonzo the Great and Pepe the King Prawn.
“We are proud to enlist the help of key family experts, the Muppets, to promote the five boroughs domestically and abroad,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The Muppets believe in dreaming big – just like New Yorkers. Extending the NYC Family Ambassador program beyond the summer and for the entire year will aid us in attracting more family visitors year round and therefore help us reach our goal of attracting 55 million visitors to New York City annually by 2015.”
“In 1984, the Muppets took Manhattan, and now they’re poised to take visitors to all five boroughs,” Deputy Mayor Steel said. “We’re proud to partner with the Muppets to make people realize that New York is a great destination for family vacations.”
“We could not imagine better NYC Family Ambassadors than the lovable and enchanting Muppets. For more than 40 years, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Gonzo and their friends have been enormously popular and engaging icons of the big screen and small screen,” said George Fertitta, CEO of NYC & Company. “Appealing to fans of all ages across the globe, the Muppets will highlight what they love about the five boroughs and illustrate why New York City is the perfect place for families to visit this year.”
“I’ve loved New York ever since I arrived in its harbor and saw that the Statue of Liberty is green. What a welcome!” said Kermit the Frog. “New York is a great place for families, frogs, pigs, bears and … uh, anyone else to visit. There’s shopping for Miss Piggy, spectacle for Gonzo, laughs for Fozzie, plus great parks in every borough for tadpoles. We can’t wait to show the world the best ways to hop around the city!”
“New York is the most fabulous city in the world. In fact, it’s almost as fabulous as moi. And trust me, that’s high praise indeed!,” said Miss Piggy.” So don’t just sit there! Get ready world! You’re about to take the ultimate diva’s tour of moi’s favorite city! Lucky vous!”
The program will highlight family-friendly things to do and see for visiting families as well as locals. On www.nyc.gov, the Muppets will share their personal City preferences: Miss Piggy will discuss shopping, Kermit the Frog will help visitors navigate the five boroughs, Swedish Chef will focus on cuisine and more. Showcased locations include the Bronx Zoo, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Coney Island, East River Ferry, MoMA PS1, The Museum of the Moving Image, Rockaway Beach, Snug Harbor, The Natural History Museum and more.
In addition, NYC & Company will provide exclusive offers and savings opportunities at family-friendly retailers, restaurants, and attractions, as well as special summer hotel offers for visitors and locals alike.
The NYC Family Ambassador program was created in 2009 to help position New York City as a safe, welcoming, family-friendly destination and to encourage families to visit during the summer. The Muppets are the fourth NYC Family Ambassadors after Sesame Street in 2009, Dora the Explorer in 2010, and The Smurfs last year.
In 2011, New York City attracted 50.5 million visitors, who contributed more than $48 billion in economic impact for the City. The City set a new goal at the beginning of the year to welcome 55 million visitors to NYC annually by 2015.
For more details on the NYC Family Ambassador campaign check nycgo.com/family. Pictures of today’s press conference and campaign imagery will be available at nycgo.com/pressphotos under “Today’s News”.