NYC & Co.'s Fred Dixon and Discover Long Island's Kristen...

NYC & Co.'s Fred Dixon and Discover Long Island's Kristen Jarnagin at St. Joseph's College in Patchogue on Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2017. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Long Island and New York City tourism organizations said Wednesday that they are teaming up for the first time in hopes of attracting more travelers from Australia and Canada.

Under a new marketing campaign called “NYC+,” Discover Long Island, the regional organization charged with promoting Island tourism, and its neighboring counterpart, NYC & Company, will promote Nassau and Suffolk counties as the city’s “beachfront backyard.” Until now, the two groups had never worked together to target specific travelers.

“I was astounded that we weren’t really partnering with New York City and taking advantage of our proximity,” Kristen Jarnagin, Discover Long Island’s president and chief executive, said at a news conference at St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue.

The campaign will target online marketing at prospective travelers from Australia and Canada, two demographics that tend to stay longer and spend more than other travelers, said Fred Dixon, president and chief executive of NYC & Company.

The ads will largely run on, the official website of NYC & Co., and will be tracked to determine the effectiveness of the combined marketing efforts.

The partnership was enabled largely by a $200,000 grant awarded by the state’s Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) program.

“Marketing Long Island and NYC as a combined destination to international audiences benefits not only the prospective visitor, but the economies of both destinations,” Kevin Law, co-vice chairman of the Long Island REDC and president of the Long Island Association business group, said in a statement.

Attracting foreign visitors is important, Jarnagin said.

International travel is “going down a little bit, we are projecting that. But for Long island, we’ve never really targeted them, so anything we get is going to be a lift.”

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