Claiming that our area has some of "the most fabulous places" in the United States, Nassau County Executive Thomas R. Suozzi launched the first ever tourism program for the county.
Noting that Nassau County has never been promoted in such a fashion, Suozzi, at a June 19 press conference in Mineola, unveiled "The Island Next Door," a print, radio and online campaign to make Nassau County a tourist destination for people in the New York City area---and those who visit the city also.
Declaring Nassau County as a "paradise found," one located right off the coast of Times Square, Suozzi listed the county's numerous attractions: Belmont Park, The Americana mall in Manhasset, Roosevelt Field, Sagamore Hill, Eisenhower Park, The Capital One Bank Theatre, plus the amenities in such villages as Roslyn, Sea Cliff, Port Washington, Bayville, Locust Valley, Garden City, Glen Cove, and Great Neck.
"People have never thought of Nassau County as a tourist destination," Suozzi said. "But if you've got it, flaunt it."
Suozzi said the campaign is aimed mostly at the millions of people who live within a 250-mile radius of New York City. But it is also targeted for "the entire world," namely those tourists who travel to New York City every year. Suozzi wants those tourists to take time from their vacation and spend a day or two in Nassau County.
The campaign coincides with the current economic downturn. Suozzi called a vacation in Nassau County a "great alternative" to driving long distances or taking an airline vacation.
The advertising campaign kicked off last weekend with a travel guide in the Sunday New York Times. The guide pictured a surfer catching a wave off the Manhattan skyline, while highlighting such attractions as Nickerson and Jones beaches, the Gold Coast mansions, and Freeport's Nautical Mile. The guide also featured five high-value hotel packages from the Long Island Marriott, the Glen Cove Mansion, the Garden City Hotel and Four Points by Sheraton-Plainview.
Suozzi said the county would follow that up with radio advertising in July and print advertising in local newspapers. Also in July, the county hopes to establish a website, one with links to beaches, restaurants, hotels, sporting events, and museums.
The purpose of the campaign, Suozzi added, is twofold.
"Shortterm we expect this program to increase revenues for the count and for our businesses," Suozzi said. "Longterm, we're going to create a strong and clear brand for Nassau County that will portray us as the fantastic place we are to live, work, and play."
In all, the campaign touts Nassau County as "The Island Next Door," reminding New York City area residents that they don't have to travel far for a great vacation.
"What other place in the United States has the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island Sound, first-class restaurants, top-notch museums and parks and world-class gold and shopping, just minutes from the world's greatest city?" Suozzi said. "Nassau County has always been known as a great place to live. Now, we're showing people that we're also a great place to visit."
Part of the campaign includes a casting call for local residents to serve as ambassadors for the county. Such people would be experts in any number of specific fields: fishing, surfing, golf, biking, hospitality, bargain-hunting, and restaurants. They would serve as online ambassadors and spokesmen for the tourism initiative.