New Orleans Marriott Launches Turn-Key Voluntourism Program: Voluntour Gumbo Pairs Groups with Projects for Big Easy Rebuilding
First-Ever Partnership with Contemplatives in Action & Bayou Rebirth
Offers Service Project Coordination & $84/Night Volunteer Rate
New Orleans, LA – December 2009 – New Orleans Marriott is meeting the demand of the group market’s increasing desire to couple programs with do-good efforts by supporting the launch of Voluntour Gumbo, a new partnership with non-profit volunteer agencies. Together with Contemplatives in Action and Bayou Rebirth, the hotel is creating a one-stop shop for those looking to make a difference in the Big Easy. Launched on Dec. 16, 2009, this exclusive collaboration is the first of its kind in New Orleans. Ideal for church and social groups, family reunions, corporations and more, the program matches group voluntourists with service projects in the region and customizes itineraries to create a personalized experience. As a special thank you to those who give back during their visit, New Orleans Marriott offers participants a special rate starting from $84 per night including taxes for 10 or more rooms, which based on quad occupancy is just $21 per person.*
“In recent years there has been a tremendous outpouring of support to help continue the rebuilding of our great city. Based on numerous requests from our group clientele seeking tailored volunteer programs, we partnered with locally-based service projects to create Voluntour Gumbo in order to cater to attendee’s varied interests,” said Melissa Thiele, senior sales manager at New Orleans Marriott and one of the founding partners of Voluntour Gumbo. “By joining forces with these local organizations we are helping to create a meaningful experience and providing the resources to ease groups’ planning process while assisting overworked and understaffed recovery agencies.”
Voluntour Gumbo, named for the native New Orleans stew that blends the cultures of the city’s history, will assign representatives to work one-on-one with groups to select appropriate projects based on the needs of both parties. Groups are assigned an on-the-ground assistant who will keep the team informed of any updates, delays, etc. Voluntour Gumbo liaisons have the ability to coordinate traditional projects such as home rebuilding or create a unique initiative based on the group’s expertise and professional experience. Groups can also develop a customized itinerary of multiple activities to cater to the varied interests of all attendees including environmental projects, working with children, animal rescue, and more.
As a long-time advocate of the city’s voluntourism movement, New Orleans Marriott will not only connect groups with Voluntour Gumbo but also offers the Build and Bond program, designed specifically for voluntour groups. The program provides a coordinator resource kit including information on area transportation companies and city guides, a complimentary meeting room, complimentary parking for 15-passenger vans, 50% off parking for personal vehicles and discounted pricing for box lunches.
Daily service fees for Voluntour Gumbo projects range from $25 per person for family, school, church or non-profit organizations to $50 per person for corporate teams. The fee supports the non-profit volunteer agencies and provides full coordination, work assignment, activity planning, and on-the-ground support. For more details about Voluntour Gumbo please visit www.voluntourgumbo.org or contact firstname.lastname@example.org, (504) 891-8483.
The New Orleans Marriott
The New Orleans Marriott is located in on Canal Street in the famed French Quarter and is steps from the Central Business District, Bourbon Street and the riverfront. The hotel offers 1,329 hotel rooms including 54 suites that reflect the distinct flavor of the Big Easy with bold and stylish décor and spectacular views of the Mississippi River. The New Orleans Marriott offers 80,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes its expansive ballroom, the largest hotel ballroom in Louisiana at 27,089 square feet. The hotel completed a $38 million overhaul in late 2007 that included a brand-new lobby and adjoining lounge, a new restaurant, significant enhancements to its guestrooms, concierge lounge, meeting space, technology upgrades and more. Culinary options delight every palate. Its restaurant, 5 Fifty 5, offers modern interior décor, a wine bar and a warm and comfortable setting. It boasts a fresh approach to food and the mouthwatering cuisine based on a unique wood-fired grill concept developed by Executive Chef Mark Quitney. http://www.neworleansmarriott.com/
Contemplatives in Action
Contemplatives in Action is an urban ministry and retreat experience for New Orleans residents who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina and the city’s subsequent flooding. In addition to providing office space and resting space for local leaders, Contemplatives in Action coordinates volunteers and provides Katrina Education in order to create a more thoughtful response to our current situation. http://www.contemplativesinaction.org/
Founded in 2007, Bayou Rebirth is a 501(c)3 non-profit that preserves and restores communities in South Louisiana through hands-on wetlands restoration and stewardship projects. Bayou Rebirth takes local and visiting volunteers into the wetlands to learn how to plant grasses and trees. The organization also teaches local students how to build and maintain nurseries of plants which they ultimately plant themselves in local wetlands. http://www.bayourebirth.org/
*Rate is based on availability. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Minimum of 10 rooms or more required.
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