Destinations

Sassy Dora and the City

Hannah Edensor

New York City is getting its family-friendly rep turned up a few notches with its newest ambassador.

NYC’s mayor Bill de Blasio and NYC & Company have paired up with kid favourite Nickelodeon to announce that Dora will return as the seventh official NYC Family Ambassador.

The announcement came during IPW in Orlando, where NYC & Company’s president and ceo Fred Dixon was joined by Dora herself, kicking off the yearlong campaign that will see the global explorer encourage family travel to the City’s five boroughs.

For the first time ever, the family ambassador program will include English and Spanish content that features activities and destinations in the five boroughs for families to enjoy.

“From the Staten Island Ferry and Times Square to the amazing diversity of Queens, the views from the Brooklyn Bridge Park and the wonderful Bronx Zoo, it’s no surprise New York City has become a favourite family destination,” Mayor de Blasio said.

Dixon added that families would be surprised to see just how much there is to do in NYC.

“When it comes to family-friendly destinations, New York City leads the way with its robust offering of parks, attractions, cultural organisations, hotels and restaurants that lend themselves to a memorable family vacation,” he said.

New York City welcomed an estimated 17.2 million family visitors last year, contributing approximately $17.8 billion in direct spending to New York City’s economy.

In 2013, Spanish was the first language of approximately 14% of domestic family travellers, with the Family Ambassador program helping to grow family visitation to the city by over 30% since its inception in 2009.

Families now make up 30.5% of the total visitation to New York City.

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“It was a privilege to have our iconic Latina heroine, Dora, as the Official NYC Family Ambassador in 2010 and it’s an even greater honor to have her return to the city again this year,” Nickelodeon Group’s president and cmo of consumer products Pam Kaufman said.

“New York City offers so many attractions, and there’s no one more equipped than Dora and her friends to help encourage kids and families from around the globe to visit and explore the greatest city in the world.”

The Official NYC Family Ambassador campaign will be promoted through out-of-home media in the five boroughs and in Buffalo, featuring social media engagement using the hashtag #nycgofamily, on TV commercials in NYC taxicabs, and through digital media targeting the City’s top regional, domestic and Spanish-speaking markets.

Additionally, NYC & Company will be asking its 2000 members, City residents and visitors to share family-friendly NYC activities using the hashtag #nycgofamily.

As part of the campaign, an Explore NYC with Dora activity book will be available for families at a selection of hotels and cultural organisations later this summer.

The booklet includes NYC-themed activities, facts and interactive elements to encourage families to enjoy NYC’s kid-friendly attractions.

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