VISIT Staten Island was created in 2009 to highlight Staten Island as a fun, family-friendly, and historical destination to visit. The goal of rebranding VISIT Staten Island is 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 in the "unexpected borough." This revived campaign also encourages residents to explore their own backyard and take advantage of the programs and events that are found so close to home.
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 to allocate funds for the 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. Native Staten Islander Tommy Rausch developed the website, working with ThoughtMatter and the VISIT Staten Island team to create a resource that tourists can use to explore the borough. The new website features information about attractions, itineraries, events, transportation, and more.
“Our office has worked successfully with all of our attractions to position Staten Island as a destination and ready us for an influx of tourists with the opening of the Empire Outlets this spring,” said BP Oddo.
The Office of Tourism and Cultural Affairs was created by BP Oddo in June 2017 to bring attention to the numerous cultural attractions Staten Island has to offer. The borough is home to an extensive arts and culture community, featuring 30 museums and art galleries. Additionally, Staten Island, known as the “Borough of Parks,” has plenty of attractions for nature lovers.
“Re-branding Staten Island as a destination is an important step in throwing our doors open to the world and welcoming people to discover all of the wonderful assets on Staten Island,” said Jennifer Sammartino, Director of Tourism and Cultural Affairs for the Borough President. “This is a unique spot amid the hustle and bustle of New York City. We’ve been the best kept secret, and now our secret is out. Come for the free ferry ride and stay for our food, history, art, maritime lore, nature, and so much more.”
Tourism is a $46 billion industry in New York City. The Staten Island Ferry is one of the most visited attractions in New York City, with over 1.5 million tourists riding the Ferry each year.