NEW ORLEANS – (April 12, 2018) – Today, the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOCVB), the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO) and the Meeting Professionals International (MPI) Gulf States Chapter celebrated the third annual Global Meetings Industry Day (GMID). The industry luncheon featured a panel discussion with Roger Dow, President and CEO of U.S. Travel Association (USTA), the premier advocacy organization for the travel industry, alongside local industry leaders Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the NOCVB, and Michael Sawaya, President and General Manager of MCCNO. The panel was led by Mark Romig, President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation.

The New Orleans tourism industry stands beside hundreds of other organizations across 30 countries today to celebrate the real impact of meetings and events on our communities. New research from Oxford Economics affirms that in a single year – and despite a continued rise in virtual communications options – face-to-face meetings and events supported 5.9 million jobs and $845 billion in economic impact in the United States. In New Orleans, tourism is the largest industry, representing nearly half of the city’s operating budget and supporting more than 89,000 hospitality industry workers that are directly employed by the industry. For 300 years, New Orleans has been the ideal location for meetings and conventions, and continues to this day as we host more than 1,500 meetings per year.

“On this GMID, we were honored to take a moment to recognize the massive impact of meetings and events on our local economy and celebrate in true New Orleans fashion,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the NOCVB. “As we recognize our tricentennial this year, we are thrilled to continue hosting some of the most prestigious meetings and events in the country – from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to WrestleMania and so many more – with the unmatched Southern hospitality that New Orleans is known for.”

“Our industry is the front door to economic development,” said Roger Dow, President and CEO of USTA. “This is adult education. This is how America does business.”

Recently named a “must visit” destination by more than 25 influential publications in the country this year, including Number 1 on The New York Times’ “52 Places to Go in 2018,” New Orleans continues to thrive as a favorite destination for leisure and business travelers alike.

Today’s event was attended by more than 250 local professionals and all proceeds were donated to the Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong Summer Jazz Camp. In total, $10,580 was raised to support the organization.

Click here to download photos from the event. Additional high-res photos available upon request.

To learn more about GMID, visit for information and resources. Participate in the digital conversations by following @MeetingsMeanBiz on Twitter, using #GMID18 and watching the live-stream of events provided by MPI.


Media Contacts:
Kristian Sonnier, New Orleans CVB, 504-481-1833,
Tara Letort, CMP, New Orleans CVB, 504-220-7414,