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NYC & Company announces Curious George as New York City's Official Family Ambassador


Campaign featuring beloved character encourages visitors to discover family-friendly adventures throughout New York City's five boroughs.

NEW YORK - NYC & Company, New York City's official tourism, marketing and partnership organization, announced Curious George as its sixth Official NYC Family Ambassador, a joint effort with NBCUniversal, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) and PBS KIDS. As part of the yearlong collaboration, adventurous explorer Curious George will encourage family travel to the City's five boroughs by highlighting New York City as a family-friendly destination. In 2013 New York City welcomed an estimated 16.7 million family visitors, a 3.1 percent projected increase over 2012, contributing approximately $16.5 billion in direct spending to New York City's economy. Since the launch of the Family Ambassador program in 2009, family visitation to New York City has grown by 26.5 percent and currently comprises 30.8 percent of total visitation to New York City.

"With the help of the Official NYC Family Ambassador, Curious George, we are pleased to welcome even more families to discover the endless urban activities in New York City's five boroughs," said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. "Curious George is a beloved and amiable character known for his adventures, and we look forward to working with him to encourage family travelers to have an enriched vacation experience in New York City."

"For more than seven decades, Curious George has inspired and delighted children and parents worldwide," said Universal Studios Home Entertainment's Glenn Ross, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Universal 1440 Entertainment. "George's enduring popularity, multigenerational appeal and signature sense of adventure and exploration make him the model ambassador to connect families to the exceptional vibrance and charm that New York City offers."  

The hit television series Curious George airs daily on PBS KIDS (check local listings). Digital games and activities from the series are also available at

"PBS KIDS is committed to using the power of compelling characters to spark children's interest in learning. With his insatiable curiosity, George is a trusted guide for kids, helping encourage them to explore the world around them," said Lesli Rotenberg, General Manager, Children's Programming, PBS. "We are excited to extend the reach of Curious George, which consistently ranks as PBS KIDS' most popular kids' series, through this effort, helping connect more families with trusted, educational content from one of their favorite characters."

"Curious George has brought joy and a love of adventure to millions of children for generations. HMH is thrilled that he'll be welcoming families to New York City, a city that certainly inspires curiosity and exploration. With over 75 million books in print and several engaging apps available worldwide, Curious George promises to be a beloved ambassador," says Gary Gentel, President of HMH Trade & Consumer Publishing.

Starting on, Curious George will encourage family travel with editorial content that features family-friendly activities and destinations for visitors as well as New Yorkers to enjoy. The editorial content includes kid-friendly NYC travel materials; guides to NYC's beaches, zoos, aquariums and museums for children; must-see green spaces such as Central Park and Prospect Park; and more.

NYC & Company is collaborating with 16 cultural institutions throughout all five boroughs to create and distribute a Curious George activity sheet that encourages kids and parents to use their five senses to explore each attraction and destination. Participating cultural institutions include the Louis Armstrong House Museum, National Museum of the American Indian–NY, New York Botanical Garden, New York Transit Museum and Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.

The Official NYC Family Ambassador campaign will be promoted through bus shelters across the five boroughs; weekly social media posts highlighting fun facts about NYC; Taxi TV commercials running in NYC taxi cabs; and digital media targeting the City's top regional markets like Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC. Additionally, NYC & Company will be asking its members, city residents and visitors to share family-friendly NYC activities using the hashtag #nycgofamily.

The Family Ambassador program was created in 2009 to help position New York City as a safe, welcoming, family-friendly destination, encourage families to visit year-round and invite those who have already visited New York City to return and enjoy all of the new attractions the City has to offer. Curious George is the sixth Family Ambassador after Where's Waldo? in 2013, The Muppets in 2012, The Smurfs in 2011, Dora the Explorer in 2010 and Sesame Street in 2009.
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