Updated 05/19/2011 07:01 PM
By: Bobby Cuza
Tourism and city officials announced Thursday a major campaign to attract more visitors to Lower Manhattan, in time for the 10th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
As global attention is expected to return to the area for the opening of the National September 11th Memorial on September 12, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and other Downtown Manhattan officials want to trumpet a story of rebirth and attract more visitors through a new global marketing campaign.
It is billed as a dramatic success story, and officials said the population here has more than doubled in the last decade, to 56,000. Twelve hotels have opened since 2001, three more are opening this year, and shops and restaurants are bustling.
"A crucial part of the story of 9/11 is how Lower Manhattan, an area many people said Osama bin Laden's attack would turn into a ghost town, has come back phenomenally in the past 10 years," said Bloomberg.
“The residential population is booming," said Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver. "Tourism is booming.”
The campaign will highlight Lower Manhattan attractions and feature promotions, discounts and walking tour itineraries. It will use ads, a taxi TV spot and a social media initiative.
“If you haven’t visited Lower Manhattan, visit," said State Senator Daniel Squadron. "Once you visit, move here. If you’ve already moved here, stay here, because there is no better community on earth.”
The September 11th Memorial is expected to draw as many as five million annual visitors, though initially only 1,500 people will be allowed onto the site at once, by way of a timed reservation system.
Click here to continue reading this story and see video of Senator Squadron’s Comments