In June 2006, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced the City’s plan to create a single marketing and tourism organization to be led by CEO George A. Fertitta. The creation of this single organization merged the three existing entities – NYC & Company, NYC Big Events and NYC Marketing. This expanded organization focused the additional financial resources and professional expertise to better achieve Mayor Bloomberg’s goal of attracting 50 million visitors annually by the year 2015.
A private non-profit corporation, NYC & Company is a fully integrated marketing agency that operates as New York City’s advertising, tourism, convention sales, partnerships and licensing organization. The organization has a membership of more than 2,000 businesses, including museums, hotels, restaurants, retail stores, theaters, tour operators and attractions and a staff of approximately 140 people.
Upon assuming his new role, Fertitta immediately focused marketing and development efforts to increase NYC & Company’s international presence. Over the course of the past seven years, NYC & Company opened 11 new representative offices – investing in emerging markets like China, Brazil and India – to create a network of 18 offices serving 25 countries worldwide. The increased global representation helped grow the City’s market share of overseas travel to the United States from 28 percent to more than 33 percent, generating an additional $5 billion in economic impact annually. In addition, during this time, New York City’s tourism sector jumped from the fifth-largest to the third-largest industry, employing more than 363,000 hospitality and leisure workers and reaching Mayor Bloomberg’s goal of 50 million visitors in 2011 – four years ahead of schedule.
In addition to his position at NYC & Company, Fertitta is also the only U.S. city representative on the 11-member board of directors of Brand USA, the Obama administration’s first global marketing program to promote the United States as the world’s premier tourism destination.
Before joining the Bloomberg administration and entering the public sector, Fertitta was the founder and chairman of a $500 million New York City-based marketing/advertising agency. In 2005, after 30 years leading the company he founded, he sold the agency to an international conglomerate.