On the other hand, Disney (the parent company of ABC News), arguably one of the world's best marketers, managed to increase attendance at its theme parks last year even as the other major parks, Sea World and Universal, showed significant losses. Las Vegas, in its attempt to lure blue-collar vacationers to the city for a little rest and relaxation, may have underestimated the severity of the recession.
So what is the marketing message that is bringing people to New York in large numbers -- over 40 million last year? The advertising campaign "This is New York City" (the "I Love New York" campaign touts the entire state) lets New York speak for itself. And it might be just that, an eclectic blend of entertainment, art, commerce and religion. Or, as respected ad man George Fertitta, chief executive of NYC and Company has said, it's the "extraordinary abundance" of the city.
But marketing alone can't possibly do the job. In this case it is a clearly defined goal -- the city wants to reach 50 million visitors a year by 2012 -- that has created focus. Pooling significant resources within one entity, NYC and Company, gives the effort the necessary scale to get attention and results. Support of the mayor's office allows the organization to move from the conception of an idea through its approval and implementation in a deliberate and seamless fashion.
New York City's idea to create a single marketing and tourism organization with the emphasis on marketing has streamlined the process and yielded significant benefits. I predict this action will be copied in other places as well.
The work is the opinion of the columnist and in no way reflects the opinion of ABC News.
Larry D. Woodard is president and CEO of Graham Stanley Advertising, a full-service advertising agency based in New York City. He is also chairman of the American Association of Advertising Agencies New York Council and the recipient of many prestigious industry awards, including two O'Toole Awards for Agency of the Year, the London International Award, Gold Effie, Telly, Mobius, Addy's and the Cannes Gold Lion. A blogger and a frequent public speaker, Woodard enjoys discussing the intersection of media, politics, entertainment and technology.