Long Island City, NY March 1, 2010 - Travel and tourism, one of the largest industry sectors in the United States, is slowly emerging as an economic force in Long Island City as part of the area's recent transformation. Few other industries offer Long Island City the promise of job creation, business profitability, and indirect benefits quite as much, or as fast, as travel and tourism. Return on investment of time, capital, and talent could produce extraordinary results.
The purpose of the Travel & Tourism Council of Long Island City (TTCLIC) is to prepare for and promote a growing tourism industry in the greater Long Island City area. The Council will also seek to derive the benefit of grants provided to organizations from borough, city, state, and federal governments and agencies.
Through events and a destination marketing approach, an organized Council will be able to help expand the base of visitors by attracting worldwide travelers as well as local and regional
Specifically focusing on Long Island City, with its proximity and ease of transportation access to and from Manhattan, as well as its existing base of restaurants, art community, and international cultural mix, will not only strengthen our community but also benefit Queens as a whole.
Two hotels, Holiday Inn Manhattan View and Fairfield Inn / Marriott Manhattan View, that have recently opened in Long Island City have supported the initiative. Anna Gaffney, Holiday Inn, says "Creating large scale weekend-long events such as an "LIC Jazz and Arts Festival", can bring visitors in large numbers, add jobs, and increase revenue and vitality to the community in general."
OurLIC and CityEntree, along with other companies and agencies, is assisting and supporting the initiative. Gayle Baron, President of LICBDC, believes the Travel & Tourism Council for Long Island City, as an initiative, is heading in the right direction and says that "there are numerouse economic benefits that come from promoting tourism. It is in the best interest of the business community. It can help build the LIC economy by bringing visitors to dine in our restaurants, shop in our stores, buy art from our artists, and bring visitors to our cultural and recreational centers." She also points out that companies that are not directly involved in tourism also benefit from the flow of indirect dollars into the economy from travelers. Baron, a long time expert in Tourism in NYC, points out that employment is helped across the board. "Food producers, retail suppliers, tour guides, and others all benefit from increased spending from tourism. It spotlights various amenities in the community." She notes that "Even secondary businesses such as construction, laundries, hair dressers, barbers, street scape designers, and printers derive indirect benefit". The LICBDC is currently collecting demographics of the commercial market in Long Island City for other purposes. Information gathered, as a byproduct, may be useful to the Travel & Tourism Council in the future. Baron says that "LICBDC is looking to create an overall marketing strategy that benefits all sectors of LIC, including tourism".
The Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), as well as Borough President Helen Marshall's Office of Tourism has always had a strong commitment to this sector. DiscoverQueens.Info is an important part of the current marketing for Tourism in Queens and promotes to area residents as well as attracting visitors from outside of Queens. OurLIC recently interviewed Seth Bornstein, newly appointed Executive Director of QEDC, to learn about the innovations that he plans to bring to Queens. Bornstein told OurLIC that one of his priorities is "to improve the advocacy for tourism". While the QEDC has not had anything specific for tourism for Long Island City, the idea of testing an initiative in a local area, like Long Island City, to create a model, was interesting to him. He pointed out that the Long Island City Business Development Corporation [ LICBDC ] was initially supported by QEDC and it became a great success story.
Michele Stoddart, Director of Marketing & Tourism at QEDC, has informally been exploring ideas for collaboation with existing initiatives for DiscoverQueens.info.
Stakeholders will be able to share ideas and cooperate in business and economic development. This will result in attracting a greater number of visitors to the community.
Stakeholders include hotels, venues, restaurants, theaters, artists, performing artists, studios, galleries, attractions, recreational facilities, transportation services, retailers and shopping centers, sports complexes, cultural centers, tour operators, media, institutions, agencies, etc.
By participating in the Travel & Tourism Council, you will have a voice and become part of a group of community leaders who will help to shape the future of Long Island City's tourism economy. Participation will also provide you with the opporutnity to meet and work with others having a common interest.
If you, your company, agency, institution, development corporation, or organization would like to be represented on the Travel & Tourism Council of Long Island City, please submit your contact information and any additional thoughts or ideas you would like to share. Click here and be sure to include your full contact information, details, and feedback.
In a related news story, OurLIC began development and engineering of a new type of search engine as a Visitors Guide service for LIC and NYC in December 2009. The sites are preparing to launch and will be marketed in the United States and worldwide through the company's CityEntree.com BizWiz.com services. The most active tourism site is DiscoverQueens.info, produced by the Queens Economic Development Corp, currently promoting its Taste of the World annual event.