Taylor Swift's role as New York's ambassador shouldn't be called into question because it is a "city of immigrants", the head of the tourist board has insisted.
Fred Dixon, NYC & Company president and chief executive, has hit back at critics who have blasted the decision to give the 24-year-old singer - who was born in Reading, Pennsylvania and raised in Nashville - the role because she is not from the Big Apple, but he insists she is incredibly passionate about the city.
He said: "Her passion for New York is very genuine and she wants to tell the world about it. New York is a city of immigrants, not many of us were born in New York - we've all followed our dreams there.
"We've done the traditional New Yorkers view of the city - this was an incredible opportunity for us to take one of the world's biggest pop stars and use her to talk to people about that dream of coming to NYC."
Fred admitted Taylor - who moved to New York City earlier this year - was a "money can't buy" option for the city because the 'Welcome to New York' hitmaker, who is not being paid, can easily promote the city by reaching out to her 46.2 million Twitter followers.
Speaking to Travel Trade Gazette (TTG), he added: "Taylor has one of the largest social media presences in the world, and she has a huge millennial following, which is very important to us.
"They can be difficult to reach in an authentic way, and she does that for us. It's something money just can't buy."
Taylor was named New York City's Global Welcome Ambassador last month and as part of the role she will see in 2015 by performing on TV show 'Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest', which will broadcast live from Times Square on ABC on New Year's Eve (31.12.14).
David Letterman recently questioned her motives after she was appointed into the role and several other residents have also followed suit.