(NEW ORLEANS) June 13th, 2017 - The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau and the Louisiana Office of Tourism recently returned to U.S. Travel Association's 49th IPW in Washington, D.C., where more than 6,400 international travel buyers, domestic and international media and U.S. suppliers joined for more than 112,000 total business appointments that drives more than $4.7 billion dollars in future travel to the United States from the more than 70 countries represented. IPW 2017 took place in Washington, D.C. for the first time in event history with a theme "One Big Welcome," helping to express that America is open for business to the world.

After hosting IPW 2016 in New Orleans, the Louisiana Office of Tourism and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau capitalized on that momentum at IPW 2017 in Washington, D.C., taking center stage during a news conference in front of the largest showing of international media in IPW history and hosting booths on the show floor. The hundreds of media attending the press conference enjoyed traditional New Orleans food, drinks and jazz music. The news conference provided a look back on new international direct flights, the airport expansion, new hotel developments, restaurants, attractions, city projects and more, that have debuted in New Orleans since IPW 2016, as well as a look ahead towards New Orleans' Tricentennial in 2018. British Airways also confirmed that the direct flight linking London to New Orleans will fly five days per week year-round, replacing the five days per week trial period.

The Louisiana Office of Tourism also hosted a booth at IPW, showcasing the Houma Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission, the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau, Shop Louisiana, and the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. Additionally, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, Jefferson Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, Lafayette Convention and Visitor Commission, Visit Baton Rouge, Louisiana's Cajun Bayou, Louisiana's Northshore/St. Tammany Tourist Commission, Louisiana Tax-Free Shopping, New Orleans Plantation Country, West Feliciana Parish Tourist Commission, and Tabasco represented their areas and attractions to tour operators and journalists worldwide.

"IPW is the Super Bowl of the travel industry and we welcomed the world to experience our city firsthand last year. We were thrilled to have the opportunity to continue the momentum in Washington D.C. and share all of the remarkable new developments we have had since they came last year - new direct international flights from London and Frankfurt, a new airport under construction, new hotel developments and so much more," said New Orleans CVB President and CEO, Stephen Perry. "We continue to receive great feedback, media coverage and bookings from all over the world. We will see business from IPW for years to come and the value of our team's work to continue to build on these relationships shows in our growth of international visitors."

"On the heels of a very successful IPW in New Orleans, being in the limelight again as the recent past host city provided the state and city with additional momentum in overseas markets," said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. "The most recent numbers show international visitation to our state has seen an increase of 37 percent. International visitation is a contributing factor in tourism for the state of Louisiana bringing a return on investment of $40 for every $1 spent."

"The Louisiana Office of Tourism and New Orleans CVB hosted nearly 7,000 participants at this event in 2016. To capitalize on that investment and momentum, more than 75 Louisiana partners joined efforts this year in Washington to promote our state to the world, working to increase international inbound visitation. These efforts will prove to be a tremendous success for the entire state as we work toward a sixth consecutive record-setting year for tourism in Louisiana," said Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston.

"IPW gives us the opportunity to touch our clients around the world in a few days of structured appointments and events. Our team conducted more than 200 business appointments this year working alongside our partners from the state office of tourism and our international representatives from Canada, Japan, UK, Germany, France, China and Brazil. We would not have the time or budget to travel around the world to have to have the face to face conversations with the clients that our international representatives have formed relationships with on our behalf throughout the year," stated Kim Priez, senior vice president of Tourism Sales.

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Chicago, Columbia, SC, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil and China. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrates its 57th anniversary in 2017. For more information, please visit www.neworleanscvb.com; www.facebook.com/neworleans; www.twitter.com/VisitNewOrleans.

The Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT) is the destination marketing organization for the state of Louisiana. It is charged with the sales, marketing and promotion of the state as a travel destination for potential visitors, both domestic and international. LOT's objective is to increase the number of visitors annually, enhance visitor experiences, generate and increase annual visitor spending resulting in greater tax revenues for local and state government, and increase tourism employment for all areas of the state. The Louisiana Office of Tourism works to promote a positive image of the state as a great place to visit, play, live, and retire through a variety of proven and effective methods such as partnerships with city/parish Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs). In 2016, the Southeast Tourism Society named the Louisiana Office of Tourism the State Tourism Office of the Year. For more information on traveling to Louisiana, please visit www.LouisianaTravel.com.

U.S. Travel Association is the national, non-profit organization representing all components of the travel industry that generates $2.3 trillion in economic output and supports 15.3 million American jobs. U.S. Travel is the leading force that grows and sustains travel and protects the freedom to travel. Our efforts are focused on achieving our shared vision for the industry: Travel is understood as essential to the economy, American jobs, security, image and well-being of the United States and travelers. For more information on the U.S. Travel Association, please visit www.ustravel.org.

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Kristian Sonnier, New Orleans CVB, (504) 481-7933, ksonnier@neworleanscvb.com
Barry Landry, Louisiana Office of Tourism, (225) 342-8142, blandry@crt.la.gov