The Muppets are the 2012 Family Ambassadors

by Alen Kanlic
A A
Bloomberg with the Muppets
Alen Kanlic

The Family Ambassador program has new spokespersons.

The Muppets are coming to New York City.

Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, The Great Gonzo, and Pepe the King Prawn joined Mayor Bloomberg Friday to announce they are this year’s official Family Ambassadors to the city. The move is part of a city effort to boost tourism to an average of 55 million people a year by 2015.  

Kermit shared his enthusiasm in becoming a Family Ambassador, “We’re very excited to tell the more than 50 million people a year who visit New York City, about all the great places and all five boroughs, where your families can have one of a kind fun.”
 
The Muppets will be promoting various family-friendly things to do and see. Showcased locations range from city parks to zoos and museums. Each Muppet’s personality will dictate what they will be promoting. Kermit the Frog will help visitors navigate the five boroughs. The Swedish Chef will have fun with New York’s plethora of cuisines. 
 
Miss Piggy is more focused on shopping.
 
“Muah, is going to show people how to see this city like a Diva. You’ll meet everyone, eat anything you want, Mayor Bloomberg even says it’s ok to eat Trans Fats!”  But Miss Piggy qualified, “Just this once, just this once.” In reference to the Mayor’s effort to combat obesity. The famed pig then shared a kiss with Bloomberg.
 
Gonzo and Pepe shared their plans for attracting visitors.
 
“I’ll be giving tips on the best places to water ski on the East River” Gonzo said. Pepe jumped in,” Si si, and I’m offering a special. I’ll sell you the Brooklyn Bridge, and throw in the Varrazano-Narrows for half off!”
 
2011 saw an influx of 15 million family visitors, raking in about $14 billion to New York City’s economy. This showed a 14.4 percent increase in family visitors since the Family Ambassador Program began in 2009. Since then, a variety of Family Ambassadors have been elected:
 
  • 2009 – Sesame Street
  • 2010 – Dora the Explorer
  • 2011 – The Smurfs
  • 2012 – The Muppets
 
A total of 50.5 million people came to New York last year, generating over $48 billion. Mayor Bloomberg hopes the Muppets inclusion to the Family Ambassador Program will help add 5 million more yearly visitors to the city. Kermit explained the importance of coming to New York.
 
“New York has been kind of a home to the Muppets in one way or another since, oh I don’t know, the 1960’s when I first came here with a guy named Jim Henson to see if we could break into show business.” Kermit said, “New York is part of the Muppets. This city helped make us who we are today… by the way I mean that as a complement.”

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