Fertitta, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg'shand-picked choice to lead the City's marketing, tourism and partnershiporganization in 2006, will serve as the board's only city destination; theboard will be made up of leading national figures from numerous industriesincluding the hotel, restaurant, retail, commuter and attractions sectors. NewYork City continues to see record-breaking visitation, an expansion in overseasmarket share to 33% and a greater international reach that now includes 18offices serving 25 markets worldwide.
"I can think of no one more qualified than George to help spearhead thecountry's first national tourism board," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "George'saccomplishments in tourism, as well as his impressive background in privatesector marketing and advertising, make him immensely qualified to serve on theBoard of the Corporation for Travel Promotion.  As the head of thecountry's top international travel destination and port of entry, he has theexpertise and insight into international markets that will make him invaluablein planning and launching new campaigns and initiatives. Over the last fouryears, NYC & Company has accomplished great things for our City-and I knowthat our country would benefit from having the same skill and passion workingto increase travel to the United States."
"George Fertitta's vision and expertise make him uniquely qualified to helplaunch the nation's first-ever national tourism campaign," said Senator KirstenGillibrand.  "His well-deserved appointment is a win for New York and I amproud to have recommended him to this post. George's leadership has been vitalin boosting tourism to the Big Apple by promoting New York City around theworld and he will be invaluable in helping the country's long term growth."
"I would like to thank President Obama and Secretary Locke for thisextraordinary opportunity, and, of course, Mayor Bloomberg for his unwaveringsupport over the years," said Fertitta.  "It is truly an honor torepresent New York City and have the chance to work with the amazing collectionof talent that will comprise the new board.  Travel and tourism isincredibly important to our country's economic well being supporting more than8.2 million American jobs and pumping $1.3 trillion into the economy annually. To this end, the United States must do all it can to highlight our manydestinations and welcome visitors from around the globe with open arms.  Thepassage of the Travel Promotion Act is a great first step-one that could resultin at least 256,000 annual new visitors to New York City alone-but we mustcontinue the momentum and create a program that will have real, long-lastingimpact."
Signed in March 2010, the Travel Promotion Act is expected to generateapproximately $4 billion in new visitor spending and create 40,000 new jobsannually.  The landmark legislation will put in place a new public-privatematching funds program featuring up to $100 million in private sectorcontributions and, potentially, $200 million overall.  The billestablishes the Corporation for Travel Promotion-whose goal is to develop amulti-channel marketing and communications program to attract moreinternational visitors-which will be comprised of representatives from varioussegments of the travel and business communities.  The Congressional BudgetOffice estimates the overall program could reduce the federal budget deficit by$425 million over the next decade.