One of the most exciting cities in the world is promoting itself as a family friendly destination. Families planning a holiday in New York City will be pleased to learn that the world’s most beloved explorer, Dora, is returning as the Official NYC Family Ambassador. A global phenomenon, Dora has crossed social, racial and language boundaries and stands as a hero and friend to millions of children around the world. Dora returns as the seventh Family Ambassador after Curious George in 2014, Where’s Waldo? in 2013, The Muppets in 2012, The Smurfs in 2011, Dora the Explorer in 2010 and Sesame Street in 2009.
The Family Ambassador program was created in 2009 to help position New York City as a welcoming family friendly destination and to encourage families to visit year round, as well as invite those who have already visited New York City to return and enjoy all of the new attractions the City has to offer.
“When it comes to family friendly destinations, New York City leads the way with its robust offering of parks, attractions, cultural organisations, hotels and restaurants that lend themselves to a memorable family vacation. We are thrilled to enlist the help of the adventurous Dora to welcome even more family travellers,” said Fred Dixon, President and CEO of NYC & Company, the official marketing, tourism and partnership organisation for the City of New York, dedicated to maximising travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, building economic prosperity and spreading the positive image of New York City worldwide.
As part of the campaign, an “Explore NYC with Dora” activity book will be available for families at a selection of hotels and cultural organisations. The booklet includes NYC themed activities, facts and interactive elements to encourage families to enjoy NYC’s kid friendly attractions.
Some of New York City’s attractions that the whole family can enjoy are the Central Park Zoo in Midtown Manhattan where visitors can see polar bears and watch sea lions being fed. The dinosaur wing at the American Museum of Natural History located on the Upper West Side is always a favourite with kids, as is the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum at Pier 86 which houses the space shuttle Enterprise and the British Airways Concorde. One place the kids won’t want to miss is the legendary toy shop FAO Schwarz. Venture out of Manhattan to the borough of Brooklyn to visit the New York Aquarium on the Boardwalk at Coney Island and also ride the famous roller coaster or stroll through the Brooklyn Museum’s Egyptian galleries and Mummy Chamber.
Family visits to New York City have grown since the launch by 30.3 per cent and families currently make up 30.5 per cent of total visitor numbers. New York City welcomed an estimated 17.2 million family visitors in 2014, which was a three per cent increase over the previous year.
Sandra Tiltman Photos: John Pond