NEW ORLEANS (April 12, 2017) - The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau is continuing its marketing efforts in the South American tourism market through sales missions and partnerships with international airlines. Most recently, Maria Manzella, Director of Tourism at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, organized a sales mission to Colombia March 20-23, 2017. The Convention and Visitors Bureau secured Copa Airlines as a key sponsor and partner, along with Louisiana Tax Free Shopping, to showcase travel to New Orleans. The trip included a networking lunch with a presentation on New Orleans to leisure tour operators and media in both Bogota and Medellin.

Copa Airlines will celebrate its second anniversary of a direct flight from Panama to New Orleans in June of 2017 and this sales mission reinforced travel efforts from Latin America to New Orleans. The U.S. Department of Commerce has ranked Colombia number 13 in their top 20 countries in 2015 for growth, and they predict Colombia to show continued growth in visitation to the United States through 2021. Currently, an estimated 888,000 visitors are forecast to travel from Colombia to the United States by 2018.

"This mission to Colombia is just one of several projects that our team is pursuing to continue to help drive New Orleans as an international travel destination," said Kim Priez, Vice President of Tourism at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau participates in numerous international sales missions each year, all targeting markets with the highest potential of growth and visitations. This mission was rooted in increasing interest shown in New Orleans by Colombian tour operators, as well as the positive state of the Colombian economy.

Images of the event can be found here.

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Chicago, Louisville, KY, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil and China. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrates its 57th anniversary in 2017. For more information, please visit;;

Copa Airlines and Copa Airlines Colombia, subsidiaries of Copa Holdings, are leading Latin American providers of passengers and cargo services. The airlines currently offer service to 70 destinations in 30 countries in North, Central and South America and the Caribbean. During Copa Airlines' more than 65 years of uninterrupted operations, it has transformed the Hub of the Americas in Panama into the leading hub on the continent. Copa operates one of the youngest and most modern fleets in the industry, consisting of 98 aircraft, and has an on-time performance of around 90 percent, on par with major airlines worldwide. Copa received Skytrax awards for Best Airline and Best Cabin and Airport Crew in Central America and the Caribbean in 2013.Copa is a member of Star Alliance, the leading global airline network, which currently offers more than 18,500 daily flights to 1321 destinations in 193 countries. To make reservations, select seats, participate in the renowned frequent-flyer program MileagePlus, maintain a trip log, check in for flights, print boarding passes or purchase tickets through secure online transactions in 11 different currencies, visit

The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping program offers international visitors to the state the opportunity to receive cash refunds for sales taxes paid on tangible items purchased at participating tax-free stores and permanently removed from the United States. Visitors can apply for refunds at seven locations throughout the state, including New Orleans, Metairie, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Bossier City, and Louis Armstrong International Airport. For more information: