The mayor was speaking at an event to celebrate the first direct flights between Ireland West Knock Airport and the U.S. During his speech, he urged Irish tourists to hop on a flight and spend their dollars in New York – after converting from Euro, of course.
“Everything in New York is a bargain,” Bloomberg said, referring to the savings Irish shoppers would make in New York because of the strong Euro.
To emphasize the point, he quoted from a questionnaire author Colum McCann recently completed for the Irish Echo, finishing the phrase “You’re Irish if…” with, “you can walk along Fifth Avenue and say how much cheaper it is than Grafton Street.”
Bloomberg spoke ahead of a forthcoming advertising campaign by NYC & Company, New York’s tourism board, aimed at attracting visitors from Ireland to New York City, particularly during slow travel periods.
The $100,000 campaign, entitled “shop while the dollar drops,” will begin February 12 and will feature advertising on buses and trains around Dublin City and County.
44 million tourists visited New York last year, spending an estimated $24 billion. During his speech, the mayor said he hopes numbers will increase to 50 million visitors annually by 2015.
Bloomberg’s lobbying was instrumental in convincing the U.S. Department of Transportation to approve the routes. He landed at Knock Airport last August, before traveling to the nearby town of Ballymote, Co. Sligo to unveil a memorial to the fighting 69th Infantry Regiment of New York, saving himself a precious few hours during a tight schedule.
“When I last visited this picturesque corner of Ireland, I learned what a great opportunity we had to establish a direct route between Ireland West Knock and the United States,” Bloomberg said.
Scottish based low cost carrier Flyglobespan will operate the new routes, which begin May 27. Three weekly flights will travel between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Ireland West Knock Airport, along with two weekly flights between Ireland Knock West Airport and Boston’s Logan International Airport. For more in formation, log on to www.flyglobespan.com.