Media Contacts:
Kelly Schulz or Tara Letort
New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau Honored by the Meetings Industry as
One of the Top Five CVB’s in the World
For the third time since 2005, New Orleans receives Gold Service Elite Award by
Meetings and Conventions Magazine readers

NEW ORLEANS – July 22, 2008 – The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) was once again recognized by its customers as one of the top five CVBs in the world with the prominent Gold Service Elite Award for 2008 from Meetings and Conventions Magazine (M&C). The New Orleans CVB has received the Gold Service Award every year since 1984 and since the Elite award was introduced in 2001, the New Orleans CVB has been selected as Elite six times in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006 and 2008.

Winners are chosen by M&C’s 70,000 readers, the industry’s most important critics – meeting planners, who rely on their overall industry expertise to nominate and select 85 domestic and international CVBs to earn the 2008 Gold Service Award. Five CVBs are chosen for ‘Elite’ status based on a strict set of criteria: professionalism of staff; support on hotels and site inspections; assistance with ground transportation planning; guidance on local attractions; and liaison with local vendors and services. Through totally unaided recall, the meeting planners selected New Orleans as one of the five Elite.

“To be recognized by our customers as the best-of-the-best is a tremendous honor and a testament to the tireless work of our professional staff that drives New Orleans’ tourism industry,” said J. Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans CVB. “Through these prestigious awards, New Orleans increasingly is being known as an exceptional place to host a meeting or convention, with nationally recognized best practices and excellent customer service.”

Bernard W. Schraer, Meetings and Conventions group publisher added, “Consistently exceeding expectations, and providing the highest-level of service and professionalism truly has set these exceptional bureaus apart. Excelling above their peers, the 2008 Gold Elite winners and their staffs should be commended by the entire industry for setting the standard for service.”

Since Mr. Perry became CEO of the New Orleans CVB in 2002, the organization has won multiple national awards for excellence in sales, marketing, branding, public relations, customer service and corporate relations and has reasserted itself as a national leader in innovative strategies and management approaches. Under his leadership, New Orleans has maintained 80 percent of its pre-Katrina levels of convention business this year and secured new, short-term corporate bookings such as the Starbucks Leadership Conference, which will bring more than 12,000 attendees to the city in October.

Winning CVBs will be featured in Meetings & Conventions’ Gold Awards issue published this November and will be honored with their peers at a ceremony in New York City this fall.

Consistently recognized as one of the top five convention and visitor bureaus in the United States, The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is the driving force behind New Orleans' most important industry, tourism. Today the cultural riches, sensual indulgences and unparalleled service that define the New Orleans experience continue to flourish, as they have for centuries. The most celebrated and historic core of the city - including the French Quarter, Central Business District, Warehouse and Arts District, Magazine Street, the Faubourg Marigny and Garden District - are thriving. In 2007, New Orleans welcomed 7.1 million visitors, nearly double the amount of visitors in 2006. For more information, visit