Mary Beth Romig
504-566-5019/ 504-606-8430 cell

Erica Papillion


Commercials featuring Lenny Kravitz, Irma Thomas, Emeril Lagasse, Drew Brees and Sidney Torres IV, to air this summer promoting specials at restaurants, hotels, shops and attractions

NEW ORLEANS – May 14, 2007 – With the encouragement of recording artist Lenny Kravitz, Irma Thomas, Emeril Lagasse, Drew Brees and Sidney Torres IV, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB) is re-launching its “Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown” campaign, encouraging residents from across the New Orleans region to enjoy all that New Orleans has to offer.

The campaign will feature coupons for residents offering parking specials, dining coupons, special hotel packages and discounts for admission to various attractions throughout the city. Coupons can be downloaded at the Web site,

It was launched today as part of National Tourism Week, a national series of events celebrating the economic power of tourism.

“We are excited to re-introduce a campaign that enjoyed success in the past, but this year has the spirit of ‘Now, More Than Ever,’ ” said Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the NOMCVB. “We’re reminding people of all of the great things there are to do right here at home – our art galleries, museums, shops, boutiques, hotels, restaurants, special events and attractions unlike anywhere else in the country. As we continue to recover as a city and an industry, we need to support our local businesses and attractions, particularly those that rely on tourism for their survival.”

Partnering with the NOMCVB, WWL-TV, Channel 4, produced a series of commercials in support of the campaign that began airing today, and will continue running throughout the summer. Among the many suggested activities, the ads encourage locals to ride a streetcar or a paddlewheeler, catch a ball game, visit museums, shop in the French Quarter and along Magazine Street, dine in a local restaurant, or spend a few nights in one of New Orleans’ beautiful hotels.

As part of the “Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown” campaign, the NOMCVB has produced posters for local merchants to display in their establishments or storefront windows designating them as “Forever New Orleans Ambassadors.” Brochures also are available listing a calendar of special summer events such as festivals, live music, concerts and community theater.

“We tell the world through our advertising that New Orleans is a city like no other, where culture bubbles up from the street, where when you wake up and look around, you realize you are in a place that is truly unique and authentic, a place where your molecules get rearranged,” said Perry. “We sometimes need to remind ourselves of that, and there is no better way to do that than by being a tourist in your own hometown.”

The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau ( is the driving force behind New Orleans' most important industry, tourism, which generates $5 billion in visitor spending and creates 85,000 jobs. 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 and Garden District - not only remains intact, both physically and spiritually, but is thriving. The New Orleans CVB is proudly welcoming visitors and business travelers every day.

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