The Tourism Excellence Award for a Public Relations Campaign was presented to Jennifer Sammartino, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Colleen Siuzdak, Manager of VISIT Staten Island, during the state association’s annual meeting Friday morning among 9 other awardees throughout the state. Among those counties recognized along with Staten Island included Long Island, Central New York, the Hudson Valley, and the Finger Lakes.
With the collaboration of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce and Destination St. George, VISIT Staten Island was able to receive a New York state grant last year to allocate funds for this rebranding and marketing of the borough as a destination. ThoughtMatter, a Manhattan-based branding agency, designed the brand and fully captured the essence of Staten Island as a place where people live, work, and play, with the rebranded campaign slogan of “The Unexpected Borough.”
The New York State Tourism Industry Association recognizes leaders in New York State's tourism industry who have achieved a high level of excellence and accomplishment. Individuals and organizations are selected from nominees that have demonstrated commitment, leadership, and accomplishment in the travel and tourism sector from January 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019.
“This was the right time to begin to market Staten Island as a destination,” said Borough President Oddo. “The borough has so much to offer – from history, to food, to experiences, to shopping. We have it all and the whole world is starting to get the message.”
“It’s an honor to be recognized by NYSTIA for our efforts,” said Sammartino, Deputy Chief of Staff. “With the help of our amazing partners – I LOVE NY, the SI Chamber of Commerce, Destination St. George and ThoughtMatter – we were able to create a beautiful campaign that reflects what a gem Staten Island really is.”
The New York State Tourism Industry Association brings together those who support the state’s $115 billion tourism industry as a way to increase economic development in the 62 counties of New York State. In 2018, these state-wide efforts welcomed 253 million visitors with direct spending totaling $72 billion. Although all partners focus on the visitor experience, these members also strive to improve the quality of life and pride of place for all New Yorkers.
About VISIT Staten Island:
VISIT Staten Island was created in 2009 to highlight Staten Island as a fun, family-friendly, and historical destination to visit. The initiative is managed by Staten Island Borough President James Oddo's Office of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, an office created in 2017. The VISIT Staten Island initiative was rebranded in 2018 to incentivize those travelling from Manhattan to stay on Staten Island and spend the day at one of the many cultural attractions, shops, and restaurants. The campaign, “The Unexpected Borough,” also encourages residents to explore their own backyard and take advantage of the programs and events that are found so close to home.