The New York and Milan partnership is the first tourism deal the Big Apple signs with an Italian city

The New York and Milan partnership is designed to boost cultural and commercial exchanges between two cities at the centre of the world’s tourism industry.

Two cities bursting with life, where design, creativity, business and innovation are key, have joined efforts in a landmark deal to promote tourism between them: the first time ever New York has signed an agreement of this kind with an Italian city. New York and Milan have acknowledged their similarities as being amongst the best places in the world to enjoy museums, events, exhibitions, luxury activities and shopping. They want people to discover their unique food experiences and their diverse cultures and neighbourhoods, the cornerstones of their image around the world.


Milano, Bosco Verticale
The Bosco Verticale skyscraper in Milan, chosen as 2015’s Best Tall Building Worldwide in the CTBUH Awards © Luisa Gattone


The New York and Milan partnership was signed on the 9th of November at Palazzo Marino, Milan’s City Hall, by Franco D’Alfonso, the city’s deputy mayor for trade and tourism and Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company, New York City’s official tourism organisation. This reciprocal marketing exchange will see the two cities encouraging travel between them via multimedia promotional support and the sharing of best practices in tourism.


Christopher Heywood, the Senior Vice President of the Global Communications Department of NYC & Company, underlined some key factors for the success of the campaign: “What’s really great about this is that, not only are we giving visitors tips and information why they should come in winter, but there’s a secondary value to this, and that is the affordability”, he announced. NYC & Company is working with the leading Italian tour operator Best Tours to offer special packages for winter breaks in NYC in the most convenient time of the year, from January to March. Also, tourists will be given tips on visiting the city’s hidden gems, as well as its most popular sites.


New York already welcomed a 10% increase in the number of visitors coming from Italy in 2014 (most of them flying out of Milan’s airports). Milan is also proud to announce the growth of its tourism industry: 2015, the year of Expo, saw a 16% growth in the number of tourists visiting the city from January to September compared to the same period in 2014.


New York, One World Trade Center
The One World Trade Center in New York City © Luisa Gattone


Though at this stage it’s early to have a detailed plan of the initiative, starting on the 13th of November 700 posters featuring Unlock NYC, the campaign promoting New York City as the perfect winter destination, have been distributed throughout Milan. In February 2016 it will be the US city’s turn to display 40.9 million impressions showcasing the April events of the Italian city’s Triennale museum, tantalising Americans to discover Italy through Milan’s eyes.

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