New Orleans, LA (May 8, 2018) – In 2017, New Orleans experienced a 6.02 percent increase in direct visitor spending contributing $8.7 billion to the economy. The city also saw a 5.70 percent increase in number of visitors compared to the previous year, reporting 17.74 million annual visitors according to D.K. Shifflet & Associates’ (DKSA) reporting.

Last year, the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) replaced UNO’s visitation and visitor spending research with the visitor data collection services of DKSA, because DKSA’s methodology is widely used by destinations across the U.S. with whom New Orleans competes. Their data is used because it reflects a surveying methodology utilizing national standards. Now that NOCVB and NOTMC are using DKSA data, New Orleans tourism has achieved parity for how its visitor numbers compare with competitive destinations. DKSA's data is also used by the State of Louisiana, which is reporting 47.1 million visitors and $17.5 billion in visitor spending for 2017. Compared to 2016, those numbers reflect an increase of nearly 500,000 visitors and a 4.1 percent increase in visitor spending statewide.

“New Orleans has seen steady growth in tourism numbers since 2009, consecutively surpassing our annual numbers in visitation and visitor spending each year. We realize that the numbers from DKSA differ significantly from UNO’s, but if you compare UNO’s and DKSA’s year-over-year increases side by side, the trajectory is basically the same. The transition to D.K. Shifflet and Associates ensures New Orleans’ visitor data is comparable to data reported by the Louisiana Office of Tourism and many of our competitor cities which use this methodology to measure visitation and visitor spending,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“We will continue to incorporate best practices and expertise to influence millions of visitors to choose New Orleans for their leisure and business travel each year and to report on our results. We are committed to smart, sustainable growth that drives the economy, creates jobs and enhances the quality of life for New Orleanians. The use of the DKSA numbers is NOT meant to imply a huge increase from the UNO numbers. It simply reflects an accurate correlation and comparison with the Louisiana Office of Tourism’s numbers and those of fellow cities which also use DKSA. This produces an apples-to-apples comparison with our peers and also helps explain why nearly 43% of our city sales taxes is paid by visitors, lessening the taxation need on New Orleans citizens,” continued Perry.

New Orleans’ cumulative 6 percent increase in spending activity from the previous year was seen in categories including:

  • Lodging spending increased by 12.3 percent (reaching $1.77 billion)
  • Entertainment and recreation spending increased by 7.16 percent (reaching $1.14 billion)
  • Food and beverage spending increased by 8.3 percent (reaching $2.05 billion)
  • Shopping spending increased by 3.8 percent (reaching $885 million)
  • Transportation spending increased by 1.7 percent (reaching $2.67 billion)    

“The results from 2017 demonstrate the unique position that New Orleans has in the mind of the discerning traveler,” commented Mark Romig, President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, NOTMC, the city’s official leisure travel promotion agency. “Combined with record setting spending, the visitation results remind us the important role that the tourism economy plays in helping to build a stronger economy for New Orleans and the region.”

For a complete list of DKSA’s clients, visit:

In prior years, New Orleans utilized the University of New Orleans (UNO) Hospitality Research Center, which uses external data sources and survey methods to gather information. DKSA’s data is collected using KnowledgePanel®. KnowledgePanel® is an online, address-based, sample panel offered by Knowledge Networks, that draws a national probability sample with balanced results to ensure accurate representation of the U.S. population. Their process provides a comprehensive count for visitors and visitor spending which includes “day-trippers” who come into the city for an event, attraction or meals but do not remain overnight. New Orleans plans to continue working with UNO on other survey projects, including employment and salary surveys for the hospitality and tourism industry. 

New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOCVB)
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, Columbia, SC, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada and China. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrates its 58th anniversary in 2018. For more information, please visit;;

New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC)
NOTMC promotes the city as a leisure tourism destination throughout the year. Annually, NOTMC’s marketing campaigns include strategic digital and broadcast TV advertising, social media and public relations. Websites:;; Social Media:;;;


Media Contacts:                                                                                               
Kristian Sonnier, New Orleans CVB, 504-481-7933,
Lea Sinclair, NOTMC, 504-491-5330,