NEW YORK (January 25, 2002) - Providing a collective thank you to New York City's firefighters and spurring travel and tourism across the country, the nation's mayors today announced they will provide free weekend trips for up to 300 firefighters, one from each company, to visit 300 different American cities.
"The entire country has been so impressed by the selflessness and heroism of New York City's firefighters, police officers, and emergency workers in the aftermath of the September 11th attack," said New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial, President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors, who announced the travel promotion at the Conference's Winter Meeting in New York City today. "The nation's mayors and the nation's cities want to show our appreciation and our support for these remarkable public servants and this extraordinary city. And we hope this new effort will help spur more travel to the many fun and interesting cities across our nation."
"These generous invitations provide an exciting opportunity for New York's Bravest to carry a message to the country from all New Yorkers thanking people for their overwhelming outpouring of support following September 11," said Cristyne L. Nicholas, president & CEO of NYC & Company, New York City's official tourism marketing organization. "Once again leading the nation by example, our firefighters will encourage all Americans to defend and enjoy our basic right to travel while delivering a personal invitation to the country to come back and visit us in New York City."
Firefighters, representing the city's fire companies, will travel with a guest to a participating city chosen at random through a lottery to be held on February 5. Travel will take place the weekend of March 1, 2002.
More than 160 cities have already agreed to participate. A list of participating cities will be available online at www.usmayors.org. Additional cities are expected to be added in the coming two weeks before the lottery.
"Cities Unite America and Thank New York Firefighters" is co-sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and NYC & Company. American Airlines, Delta Airlines and Northwest Airlines, as well as Amtrak are donating tickets for this effort. Mayors are arranging local accommodations and activities for their guests.
Andy Solomon, U.S. Conference of Mayors (202) 861-6766
Keith Yazmir, NYC & Company (212) 484-1244