Media Contacts:
New Orleans CVB
Kelly Schulz / Mary Beth Romig

Weber Shandwick
Laura Bachrach

Agency Hired to Spread the Word that Now is the Time for Tourists to Return to New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS AND NEW YORK (Feb. 16, 2007) – The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB) has appointed global public relations firm Weber Shandwick to bring visitors back and reinvigorate New Orleans’ most vital industry, tourism.

Weber Shandwick’s Travel & Lifestyle Practice in New York will develop a 10-market media tour and series of events which brings the best of New Orleans culture to major metropolitan cities. Along with leisure visitors, the tour promotes the destination for conventions and meetings to meeting professionals, associations and corporate decision makers.

Launching in New York this spring, the media tour is one component of a multi-pronged public relations and marketing communications campaign the Convention and Visitors Bureau is undertaking to strategically re-brand and reposition the city and overcome misperceptions about the New Orleans visitor experience.

“Among the important messages we want to deliver across the nation is that New Orleans still remains one of the most authentic, historic and culturally-rich destinations in the world, a place where when you visit your molecules are rearranged,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans CVB. “And we want to let people know that the time to visit is now. New Orleans is ready, certainly the hospitality industry is ready. And that visitor experience that you know from visiting in the past or imagine prior to coming is alive, in some ways even better.”

The campaign will bring one of the iconic green streetcars to a few cities, showcasing one of the historic elements of the city’s culture. Streetcars date back to the early 1890s, and continue to be one of New Orleans’ enduring symbols. The campaign will also incorporate the theme “Forever New Orleans,” a branding message recently unveiled by the NOMCVB and the local hospitality community.

“In celebrating the spirit of ‘Forever New Orleans,’ we are honoring all those wonderful, rich, authentic elements that have made New Orleans such a special place for generations,” said Perry. “And while the message of ‘Forever New Orleans’ is about honoring the rich past upon which we’ve built this city’s dynamic and undeniable spirit, it is also about renewal and promise. It is this message that we hope to showcase in the media tour.”

With 83 owned offices in 41 markets, Weber Shandwick was selected in part for its reach in international markets where The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau has a presence. The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau joins Weber Shandwick’s illustrious client roster which includes American Airlines, The Islands of The Bahamas, InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and InterContinental Hotels Group, Royal Caribbean International, and Microsoft, among many others. ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­

Over the years, Weber Shandwick’s Travel Practice has won 10 Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Platinum Awards in the areas of cruise, hotel, attraction, destination, and airline and more than 100 Golden Bell Public Relations Awards of Excellence. Just last month, the practice became one of the first HSMAI recipients of the YAHOO! Big Idea Chair Award for the integrated efforts surrounding the launch of Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas.

“Everyone wants to contribute to the future success of New Orleans and the most helpful thing anyone can do is book a trip to visit the city right now. Not just because tourism is essential to the health of New Orleans but because it is our country’s most authentic and culturally rich city,” said Rene Mack, president of Weber Shandwick’s Travel & Lifestyle Practice. “New Orleans is part of our national soul and we are honored to contribute to such an important campaign.”

About New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
The New Orleans Convention and 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.

About Weber Shandwick
Weber Shandwick is one of the world’s leading global public relations firms with offices in major media, business and government capitals around the world. The firm specializes in strategic marketing communications, media relations, public affairs, reputation and issues management, and offers corporate communications counseling services. Weber Shandwick also provides specialized integrated services including Web relations, advocacy advertising, market research and visual communications. In 2006, Weber Shandwick was named Large PR Firm of the Year (PR News U.S.), European Consultancy of the Year (The Holmes Report) and Network of the Year (Asia Pacific PR Awards). The firm also won the United Nations Grand Award for outstanding achievement in public relations. To learn more, please visit

Weber Shandwick is a unit of The Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), which is one of the world’s leading organizations of advertising agencies and marketing services companies.