London calling: NYC seeks British tourists, and vice versa
The city is hoping for a new British invasion.
New York and London, which as their countries’ respective financial capitals sometimes wind up competing, have agreed to cooperate in luring each other’s tourists across the pond.
“The U. K. is already New York City’s number one source of international visitors,” Bloomberg said Tuesday at an appearance with London Mayor Boris Johnson at Columbia University. “We believe there is potential for further tourism in both directions.”
About 1.3 million British tourists came to New York City last year, according to the mayor’s office, and about 2 million Americans visited London.
As part of the two-year agreement, Visit London, that city’s tourism office, will get four weeks of free advertising space on 71 bus shelters in New York. In exchange, NYC & Co., the city’s tourism arm, will get 250 posters in the London subway system for four weeks, twice a year.
The annual value of each ad buy is roughly $178,000, according to Bloomberg.
Each city will also hold at least one publicity event for the other and will share marketing strategies.
Johnson, his wry humor on full display, remarked on how many of his countrymen he’s already encountered here.
“I’ve been amazed, walking around New York, at the number of people who have shouted at me across the street, ‘Oy, Borris! Who let you out, then?”
Another moment of levity broke out when Johnson, who was born in New York, was asked by a BBC reporter about comments he made that a mayor should be limited to two terms, a contentious issue for Bloomberg, who is now running for a third term after pushing through a controversial law extending term limits.
After some laughter, Johnson replied: “I was speaking about London.”