New York City on Tuesday inaugurated a new tourism office in Mexico City to attract more Mexican travelers and continue the trend of the past seven years during which time tourism from Mexico to the Big Apple doubled.

The announcement was made by New York City's official tourism and marketing organization NYC & Company in a communique after inaugurating the new office located in the heart of the Mexican capital's financial and cultural district.

With an investment of "millions of dollars," New York intends to capitalize on the growth of tourism over the past few years and promote itself as a tourist destination among the Mexican middle class, a move that "will have an economic impact of hundreds of millions of dollars for New York," NYC & Company executive director George Fertitta said.

The office will not be open to the end consumer - that is, travelers - but rather will work closely with the tourist industry, including travel agencies and airlines, and with the communications media to develop strategic alliances for tourism promotion.

"New York and Mexico City are world class cities that have much in common, and so there could not be a better time to expand our investment in this key market and to invite more Mexican tourists to discover the energy, diversity and enthusiasm of our city," said New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

According to figures compiled by the tourism office, the number of Mexican tourists coming to New York in 2005 was 192,000, while in 2011 the total was 376,000, and - according to forecasts - it is expected that this year 400,000 visitors will come to the city.

Fertitta said that this new investment in marketing and publicity to increase tourism from Mexico "will increase the visits, will create more jobs for the local tourist industry and will generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic impact."

Mexico City Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera also emphasized that the new office will allow "the sharing of experiences, good practices and cooperative ties between these two great cities, which not only share a common vision but also links of friendship between their residents."

The new tourism promotion plan includes the promotion of more accessible hotels outside Manhattan in the city's other four boroughs, as well as promoting the diversity of attractions and cultural opportunities because, Bloomberg said, "there are thousands of reasons why Mexican tourists visit New York." EFE