May 18, 2006

Kelly Schulz
V.P., Communications & Public Relations
504-566-5045 / 504-421-0962 (cell)

Mary Beth Romig
Dir., Communications & Public Relations
504-566-5050 / 504-606-8430 (cell)


Tourism Industry Officials Applaud Their Efforts

New Orleans, May 18, 2006 – Today, at the behest of Governor Kathleen Blanco, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development initiated a major clean-up operation of the I-10 corridor, beginning at the Kenner city boundary through Jefferson Parish into Orleans Parish, culminating at the base of the Crescent City Connection, the segment of Highway 90 that crosses the Mississippi River. The clean-up effort coincided with “See America Week/ National Tourism Week.”

Led by Secretary Johnny B. Bradberry, Louisiana Department of Transportation Development, Michael Bridges, the department’s Undersecretary, and Gordon Nelson, the Assistant Secretary, Office of Operations, the DOTD brought in two sweepers and five trucks, and accomplished the challenging task.

“We greatly appreciate the help from and cooperation of the Department of Transportation and Development with this badly needed effort to get the main gateway to the heart of the city clean,” said Warren Reuther, Chairman of the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. “They clearly recognize that as our hospitality industry continues to come back and more visitors and convention and meeting delegates come to New Orleans, we need to keep our main roads as clean as possible. This is another clear sign that the city is coming back, and we must make every effort to take our recovery to the next level.”

Stephen Perry, President and Chief Executive Officer of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, echoed Reuther’s expression of appreciation.

“It is vital that we get this city clean, and we are certainly grateful to the Governor, Secretary Bradberry, Undersecretary Bridges and their team for recognizing this urgent need and taking action,” said Perry. “Now we have to continue their efforts, particularly in the French Quarter, along Canal Street and throughout the city’s historic core, and deep into our city’s thriving neighborhoods to clean up, not only in preparation for the return of meetings and conventions, but as a matter of civic pride and responsibility.”

Among the groups coming to New Orleans in coming weeks are Maritz, Inc., one of the world’s largest travel companies, who for the first time are holding their annual meeting in New Orleans in support of the city’s recovery. The USA Volleyball Association will bring 5,000 attendees to the city at the end of May. In June, the Air and Waste Management Association’s 3,000 delegates will travel to the Crescent City. The American Library Association, the first city-wide convention to be held in New Orleans since last August, will bring to the city over 20,000 delegates beginning June 21.

Today, the NOMCVB reintroduced the campaign “We’re Jazzed You’re Here,” originally introduced in the 2004.

“The staff of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation, have been working very hard since last fall to spread the word that the historic core of the city that visitors are most familiar with is not only open, but thriving,” said Perry. “That message is more important than ever, as we must use every opportunity we have to ensure that visitors to New Orleans experience those very aspects that have made us a top destination in the world – our authentic culture, delicious cuisine, incomparable music, incredible art and architecture, the unique spirit of our people and our hospitality – so that visitors will then go back to their home cities and share the good news that New Orleans is alive and well, and a great place to visit. Getting this city clean again and keeping it clean will send a strong signal to the nation and the world that we are alive and well and ready to welcome visitors to this great city.”

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About New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB)
Since 1960, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau ( has been the driving force behind New Orleans' most important industry, attracting $4.9 billion to the region annually. Nationally recognized for superior customer service, NOMCVB represents over 1,200 members and provides convention services and visitor information for business travelers and vacationers. In 2004, the NOMCVB welcomed a record-breaking 10.1 million visitors to one of America's favorite meeting and leisure destinations. The NOMCVB is committed to rebuilding the city of New Orleans.