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Upstate NY travel gets boost from celebrities, Cuomo funds

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at the New

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo speaks at the New York State Tourism Summit on May 14, 2014. Photo Credit: FLICKR/ governorandrewcuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants more people to check out New York beyond the sights and sounds of the Big Apple, and he's getting some big names to help with his cause.

The governor introduced a new ad campaign at his tourism summit Wednesday that encourages visitors to check out the hot spots upstate and on Long Island. The commercials include testimonials from celebrities like Robert De Niro, Meryl Streep and Vanessa Williams who talk about their favorite getaways like the Adirondacks and Finger Lakes.

"New York is an even more alluring destination when you put it an environment around New York City," Cuomo told the summit.

Last year, the city saw 54 million tourists and brought in billions in direct spending. The state will increase its tourism marketing budget by $45 million to spread those dollars to other Empire State communities.

"The attraction of New York City will be enhanced when we communicate the upstate assets," the governor said.

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