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�€œWe�€™re targeting leisure travellers�€?

Founder of the $350-million (Rs 1,715 crore) advertising agency (which he sold off), Madison Avenue, George Fertitta is now tasked with selling an entire city, as CEO of NYC & Company, New York’s tourism promotion organisation.

Founder of the $350-million (Rs 1,715 crore) advertising agency (which he sold off), Madison Avenue, George Fertitta is now tasked with selling an entire city, as CEO of NYC & Company, New York’s tourism promotion organisation. BT’s Anusha Subramanian met him in Mumbai recently. Excerpts from an interview:

George Fertitta
George Fertitta
What’s the idea behind setting up operations in India?
There has long been a commercial and cultural connection between India and New York City. We are now extending that bond by inviting all Indian leisure and business travellers to visit us in 2009 and beyond.

In the wake of the wall street crisis, how is NY tourism looking?
So far, we have not seen any downturn in tourism. Hotels, bars, theatres and cultural institutions have also not seen any declines.

How do you see the growth in NY tourism industry?
Tourism in New York is a $30-billion industry. In 2008, we are expecting to grow 2.8 per cent to 47.3 million visitors, up from 46 million visitors in 2007.