New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau to Lead



Tuesday May 12, 2009 is being declared the Power of Tourism in New Orleans Day! Hundreds of members of the hospitality community will converge on Canal Street Tuesday morning for a rally and parade to send a message to Congress and our Legislators about the significance of tourism to New Orleans’ economy. Rally and parade participants will hold signs, second line and dance to the sounds of musicians to celebrate and proclaim the importance of tourism - the largest industry in the U.S. and the most critical economic driver for New Orleans, employing 78,000 people and creating billions of dollars in annual economic impact.

WHERE: Rally will begin at Canal Street and Bourbon and parade down to Spanish Plaza for a press conference

Media may check in at the Astor Crown Plaza Hotel beginning at 9:30 a.m., 739 Canal @ Bourbon

WHEN: Tuesday, May 12, 2009 from 10:00 – 10:30 a.m. Central Time

Joining more than 20 other U.S. cities that will rally in celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week, New Orleans’ Mardi Gras Indians, musicians, the world-famous St. Augustine High School Marching Band, elected officials, front line workers from all walks of the hospitality industry, and even the city’s beloved Streetcar, will converge on Canal Street with bright colors and harmonious sound as part of a national travel rally day effort by the U.S. Travel Association to demonstrate that tourism matters. Hundreds of local hospitality workers are expected to unite with colorful signs proclaiming, I am the Face of Travel! ** Tourism Matters! ** Meetings Mean Business! **and Travel Means Jobs! ** Together, with spirit and cheer, they will declare May 12th THE POWER OF TOURISM IN NEW ORLEANS DAY in support of the city’s economy, job creation, cultural heritage and an enhanced quality of life for every New Orleans citizen.

· J. Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, is available for live, in-studio or on-air interviews the morning of Tuesday May 12th about the day’s events
· Immediately following the rally at 10:30 a.m., Mr. Perry, hospitality industry leaders and elected officials will hold a press conference on the Riverfront near Spanish Plaza to officially declare May 12th THE POWER OF TOURISM IN NEW ORLEANS DAY, and discuss the economic impact and future of tourism in New Orleans
· The National Tourism Week Luncheon and Expo will begin at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center at 11 a.m.
· B-roll footage and photos of the rally will be available upon request.


Background: Tourism in New Orleans

· Tourism generates $5 billion in direct visitor spending and $200 - 225 million in direct tax revenues for New Orleans. No other business sector generates more tax revenues.
· New Orleans’ integrated tourism interests are essentially Louisiana’s third Fortune 500 company and the leading economic development corporation in the city of New Orleans, generating or affecting some 60% annually of the $5 billion of newly-imported capital each year from tourists and visitors.

  • The New Orleans tourism industry is the largest employer in the area. 78,000 people from every neighborhood in the city depend on the hospitality industry for their job and paycheck.
  • Tourism includes chefs, street performers, musicians, bellmen, artists, housekeepers, sales and marketing professionals, drivers, florists, shop owners, hotels, restaurants, retail, sporting arenas, music venues, museums, galleries, tour guides, theaters, destination management companies, riverboats, audio visual/technology providers, decorators, meeting and convention venues, casino gaming, tour operators and more.

· Hospitality, tourism, sports and special events ARE the business of New Orleans and have more national and international impact on the brand of New Orleans than any other industry or business sector.
· The New Orleans cultural economy is a driving catalyst for economic development in other sectors, as it lays the foundation for the attractiveness of the Greater New Orleans area to entrepreneurs, major corporations, and professionals in all fields.
· Events at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center accounted for more than 11 million out-of-state visitors, who along with associations and exhibitors, have injected more than $15.3 billion in direct spending and $23.9 billion in secondary spending during the last 23 years.
· The number of visitors to New Orleans increased from 7.1 million in 2007 to 7.6 million in 2008, and spending levels increased from $4.8 billion in 2007 to $5.1 billion in 2008, according to the University of New Orleans Hospitality Research Center.

  • One out of every 12 people in Louisiana is employed as a result of the tourism industry.
  • If the New Orleans hospitality industry did not exist, every family in Louisiana would need to pay $2,923 more in taxes annually to offset the deficit.
  • Every dollar invested in tourism advertising returns $17 in tax revenue.

· Tourism creates hotel and sales tax revenue for the city and state benefiting Increased city services to every citizen in New Orleans; New Orleans Public Schools; Tens of millions of dollars of new cash flow to the state general fund; New Orleans Morial Convention Center; Louisiana Superdome; New Orleans Saints; New Orleans Hornets; New Orleans Regional Transit Authority; New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation; New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau; Accelerated Katrina recovery; Preservation of our authentic culture and an enhanced quality of life for every citizen of New Orleans.

Background: Tourism in the U.S.
Travel and tourism is one of America’s largest industries, with $740 billion in direct travel expenditures. Cities and towns across the country, particularly New Orleans, rely on the wages and taxes generated by business and leisure visitors. Unfortunately, the industry is facing tough times – recent mischaracterizations of meetings and events travel, combined with an already struggling economy, are having serious effects on American workers and communities that rely on tax revenue that serves as funding for public schools, police and fire departments and other essential services in every community across the country.



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