May 18, 2006

Kelly Schulz
V.P., Communications & Public Relations
504-566-5045 / 504-421-0962 (cell)

Mary Beth Romig
Dir., Communications & Public Relations
504-566-5050 / 504-606-8430 (cell)


Campaign Grows More Important as Hospitality Industry Prepares to Welcome Conventions and Meetings Back to New Orleans

New Orleans, May 18, 2006 – In conjunction with National Tourism Week, officials from the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau will reintroduce the campaign “We’re Jazzed You’re Here.” Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the NOMCVB will share the news with members of the city’s hospitality and tourism industry at the New Orleans Tourism Business Expo and Luncheon held at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside Hotel, in observance of National Tourism Week. Over 600 guests are expected to attend the luncheon.

“It has never been more important to share the message with visitors to our city, whether convention and meeting delegates or leisure travelers, that we are excited they are here,” said Perry. “This welcoming spirit and warm hospitality that New Orleans is known for, reflected in the slogan ‘We’re Jazzed You’re Here,’ must emanate from the taxi-cab drivers and airport employees, to all staff in the hotels, restaurants, cultural attractions, galleries, boutiques, streetcar operators, retail employees and beyond. In fact, this message that we are open, excited and grateful to our visitors must come from every single resident in the city.”

NOMCVB officials and other tourism industry leaders continue to stress the importance of the hospitality industry to the local economy. Dollars generated from the tourism industry generates 35% of the city’s operating budget, supporting vital city services including police officers, firefighters, emergency services professionals the public schools, and the emergency services professionals. The industry employs 85,000 people who come from every neighborhood in the metropolitan area.

“The staff of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation, have been working very hard since last fall to spread the word that the historic core of the city that visitors are most familiar with is not only open, but thriving,” said Perry. “Now we must use every opportunity we have ensure that the visitors to New Orleans experience those very aspects that have made us a top destination in the world – our authentic culture, delicious cuisine, incomparable music, incredible art and architecture, the unique spirit of our people and our hospitality – so that visitors will then go back to their home cities and share the good news that New Orleans is alive and well, and a great place to visit.”

Among the groups coming to New Orleans in coming weeks are Maritz, Inc., one of the world’s largest travel companies, who for the first time are holding their annual meeting in New Orleans in support of the city’s recovery. The USA Volleyball Association will bring 5,000 attendees to the city at the end of May. In June, the Air and Waste Management Association’s 3,000 delegates will travel to the Crescent City. The American Library Association, the first city-wide convention to be held in New Orleans since last August, will bring to the city over 20,000 delegates beginning June 21.

The message “We’re Jazzed You’re Here!” is currently being delivered, literally, beginning with a billboard visible along the access road leading from the Louis Armstrong International Airport to I-10 east to New Orleans. Industry-wide employees will be to deliver this message to visitors encouraged through a targeted education campaign.

The NOMCVB is printing taxi-cab receipts that informs riders that “We’re Jazzed You’re Here!” and urging them to enjoy all the city has to offer. Street banners, pins, hotel key holders and other printed materials will also convey the message. A banner decorating the NOMCVB’s offices at 2020 St. Charles Avenue announces the slogan to all who pass by or visit the tourism industry’s headquarters. Members of the NOMCVB, including restaurants and stores, will be given signage to post in their respective businesses. An aggressive advertising campaign will also be launched, with public service announcements and ads placed on streetcars, busses and bus stops. Greeters, wearing t-shirts bearing the message, will be stationed in the Louis B. Armstrong International Airport to welcome guests.

“This message also applies to everyone who has been able to return to New Orleans and the entire metropolitan area and are calling New Orleans home again,” added Perry. “We’re jazzed that some of us have been able to return and look forward to the day when more New Orleanians can return and remain, particularly those who enjoy careers in the hospitality industry.”

Perry took the occasion to encourage local residents to contribute to this message in every way they can, including working to clean the city and keep it clean, and encouraging citizens to portray a positive attitude toward the city when interacting with others. “These past months have not been easy, and we have faced and continue to face great challenges,” said Perry. “But, on the heels of Jazz Fest and other great events that we’ve hosted and enjoyed, we are encouraging our local colleagues, neighbors and friends to act as ambassadors for our city by keeping in mind the importance of sending a positive message to visitors about all we have to enjoy in New Orleans today and in the future,” Perry said.

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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 1,200 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.