Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Media Contacts:
Mary Beth Romig
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Erica Papillion  

Orbitz and Travel + Leisure Recognize New Orleans’ Continuing Reputation as one of America’s Favorite Cities

NEW ORLEANS – Dec. 20, 2006 – As 2007 nears, two international travel industry entities named New Orleans as a top destination for travelers in the New Year. Orbitz described New Orleans as an “in” location for experience seeking vacationers, while Travel + Leisure included the city in its “Where to Go Next” feature.

In naming New Orleans one of seven “hot spots,” Orbitz, backed by a team of travel professionals, said:

“Continuing its remarkable comeback after hurricane Katrina, New Orleans is bustling and thriving once again. Events are plentiful in New Orleans in 2007 as the city welcomes travelers back for events like its always-outlandish Mardi Gras celebration in February and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival in April. In addition to these staple events, the French Quarter Festival, also in April, gives travelers yet another reason to stroll down Bourbon Street, with music on 14 stages and booths full of famous Cajun cuisine. Whatever you make it to New Orleans for – they are more ready for you than ever! … once again making the city a flourishing travel destination.”

Joining New Orleans on Orbitz’s top seven list are Jamestown, Virginia; Alaska by cruise ship; San Juan Islands, Washington; Krakow, Poland; and Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam.

Orbitz ( is a leading online travel company that enables travelers to search for and purchase a broad array of travel products, including airline tickets, lodging, rental cars, cruises and vacation packages. Since launching its website to the general public in June 2001, Orbitz has become the third largest online travel site based on gross travel bookings.

In offering a preview of what travelers can expect in 2007 in its January issue, in which it names up-and-coming destinations and trends, Travel + Leisure included New Orleans among its choices, with Alexandria, Egypt; Quito, Ecuador; and Istria, Croatia.

In the issue, Travel + Leisure wrote:

“Less than 18 months after Hurricane Katrina, much of New Orleans is back and ready for visitors. Revamped favorites and interesting newcomers are contributing to the second act of one of America’s favorite cities.”

The magazine also commented on visitors growing interest in helping with the city’s recovery, writing:

“For travelers who want to play a more direct part in the Crescent City’s renaissance, ‘voluntourism’ opportunities abound.”

Travel Travel + Leisure is published by American Express Publishing, who also publish Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure Golf, Travel + Leisure Family, and Departures magazines. The magazine specializes in leisure travel and often features articles written by novelists, poets, artists, designers and non-travel journalists. It is known for its travel photography.

“These designations reflect a tremendous vote of confidence for New Orleans from two of the travel industry’s most well-respected and well-received groups,” says Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. “What their recognition tells the world is that New Orleans continues to be one of America’s – if not the world’s – most authentic, unique cities, and a top destination for visitors. Equally important is the message that we are open and that great New Orleans experience is very much alive. As we work to spread the good news about New Orleans across the globe, such inclusions with other exciting travel destinations worldwide is invaluable to not only all of us who work in the city’s hospitality industry, but the entire New Orleans community.”

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About New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB)
Since 1960, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau ( has been the driving force behind New Orleans' most important industry, attracting $4.9 billion to the region annually. Nationally recognized for superior customer service, NOMCVB represents over 900 members and provides convention services and visitor information for business travelers and vacationers. In 2004, the NOMCVB welcomed a record-breaking 10.1 million visitors to one of America's favorite meeting and leisure destinations. The NOMCVB is committed to rebuilding the city of New Orleans.