NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism, marketing and partnership organisation, has announced Curious George as its sixth Official NYC Family Ambassador, a joint effort with NBCUniversal, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and PBS KIDS. You thought I was going to say I was it then didn't you... I bloody wish! As part of the year-long collaboration, adventurous explorer Curious George will encourage family travel to the city’s five boroughs by highlighting New York City as a family-friendly destination.
In 2013, New York City welcomed an estimated 16.7 million family visitors, a 3.1 per cent projected increase over 2012, contributing approximately $16.5 billion in direct spending to New York City’s economy. Since the launch of the Family Ambassador program in 2009, family visitation to New York City has grown by 26.5 per cent and currently comprises 30.8 per cent of total visitation to New York City.
“With the help of the Official NYC Family Ambassador, Curious George, we are pleased to welcome even more families to discover the endless urban activities in New York City’s five boroughs,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “Curious George is a beloved and amiable character known for his adventures, and we look forward to working with him to encourage family travellers to have an enriched experience in New York City.”
Curious George has been featuring in books, television programmes and films since the 1930s. He was known for a time as ‘Zozo’ in the United Kingdom to avoid the monkey sharing the name of the ruling monarch.
“For more than seven decades, Curious George has inspired and delighted children and parents worldwide,” said Universal Studios Home Entertainment’s Glenn Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Universal 1440 Entertainment. “George’s enduring popularity, multigenerational appeal and signature sense of adventure and exploration make him the model ambassador to connect families to the exceptional vibrance and charm that New York City offers.”
“Curious George has brought joy and a love of adventure to millions of children for generations. HMH is thrilled that he’ll be welcoming families to New York City, a city that certainly inspires curiosity and exploration. With over 75 million books in print and several engaging apps available worldwide, Curious George promises to be a beloved ambassador,” says Gary Gentel, President of HMH Trade & Consumer Publishing.
Curious George will encourage family travel with editorial content at www.nycgo.com/family featuring family-friendly activities and destinations to enjoy. The editorial content includes kid-friendly NYC travel materials; guides to NYC’s beaches, zoos, aquariums and museums for children; must-see green spaces such as Central Park and Prospect Park; and more.
NYC & Company is collaborating with 16 cultural institutions throughout all five boroughs to create and distribute a Curious George activity sheet that encourages children and parents to use their five senses to explore each attraction and destination. Participating cultural institutions include the Louis Armstrong House Museum, National Museum of the American Indian–NY, New York Botanical Garden, New York Transit Museum and Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.
NYC & Company is asking its members, city residents and visitors to share family-friendly NYC activities using the hashtag #nycgofamily.
The Family Ambassador programme was created in 2009 to help position New York City as a safe, welcoming, family-friendly destination, encouraging families to visit year-round and inviting repeat visitation. Curious George is the sixth Family Ambassador after Where’s Waldo?® in 2013, The Muppets in 2012, The Smurfs in 2011, Dora the Explorer in 2010 and Sesame Street in 2009.
For more details on the Curious George Family Ambassador campaign, visit nycgo.com/family.