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SPECIAL EDITION

TOURISM MATTERS National Travel & Tourism Week

NEW ORLEANS

CONVENTION & VISITO RS B U RE AU M AY 2 0 1 6


PLAN YOUR

WEEK ++++++++++++++++++++++ ++++++

EVENTS TO ENJOY DURING NATIONAL TRAVEL & TOURISM WEEK

TUESDAY » MAY 3 Join the New Orleans CVB and the hospitality industry for a parade celebrating the power of tourism!

CHECK OUT OUR P CELEBR AST ATIONS ON PAG E6

8:30 A.M. Gather at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St. DONATE FROM YOUR DESK

9:00 A.M. Parade rolls down Conti, Royal and St. Louis Streets, ending at the Capital One Pavilion on the riverfront, immediately followed by an industry “toast” featuring NOCVB President and CEO Stephen Perry and Louisiana Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser More information at www.neworleanscvb.com/nttw

Hosted on

TUESDAY,

MAY 3RD

by the Greater New Orleans Foundation, GiveNOLA Day is the community’s one-day, online giving event to inspire people to give generously to the nonprofit organizations that are making our region stronger, creating a thriving community for all.

TUESDAY » MAY 10

Career Fair

LAST YEAR,

GIVENOLA DAY

1-4 P.M. Behrman Gym, 2529 General Meyer Ave., Algiers, District C

RAISED

$4 MILLION

FROM 34,000+ DONATIONS AROUND THE NATION!

ENJOY OTHER FREE EVENTS THIS WEEK, INCLUDING:

WEDNESDAY » MAY 4 YLC Wednesday at the Square The Soul Rebels + Tank and the Bangas 5-8 P.M. LAFAYETTE SQUARE

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MAY 2016 [ CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ]

THURSDAY » MAY 5 Jazz in the Park Davell Crawford + Stephanie Jordan

4-8:30 P.M. ARMSTRONG PARK

SPECIAL THANKS TO


A

MESSAGE FROM THE

&

PRESIDENT/CEO

CVB

CHAIRMAN

OF THE BOARD ++++++++++++++++

Dear Friends of the New Orleans CVB, As we celebrate National Travel and Tourism Week alongside destinations across the country, we take this time to reflect on the great accomplishments achieved by our more than 86,000 hospitality employees in New Orleans. Together, we promote, market and service one of the most diverse, culturally interesting cities in the world, one that has been named TripAdvisor’s “2016 Traveler’s Choice Top 25 U.S. Destinations,” Travel + Leisure’s “Best Cities in North America” and AFAR magazine’s number one “Most Visited Destination across the Globe.” We would not be known as this world-class destination without the hardworking men and women working in our tourism industry. To the entire hospitality community – chefs, street performers, musicians, bellmen, artists, painters, wait persons, actors, writers, housekeepers, sales managers and the strikingly diverse and unique inhabitants of every neighborhood – we thank you. Every position related to hospitality is truly appreciated and necessary to keep New Orleans a dream destination for visitors from around the globe. We deeply appreciate and thank our employees for their dedication to our industry. The committed employees of the New Orleans CVB will continue striving to increase the number of quality visitors to the city, which will result in more attendance at cultural attractions, more diners in restaurants, more revenue for local business owners and staff and tax revenues for city services. We hope you take pride in being a member of this strong hospitality industry community that deserves its rank as the best in the business. Sincerely,

Jim Cook General Manager of the Sheraton New Orleans 2016 Chairman of the Board New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

Stephen Perry President and CEO New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau

[ CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ] MAY 2016

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PHOTO BY TODD COLEM AN

LIVING TOO LARGE, AND

T

LOVING US FOR IT!

here’s a lot going on in the new New Orleans these days. Just page through any random issue of Fortune or Forbes or Wired or Vice or The Financial Times to see how our thriving environment and culture have yielded a myriad of new business models, entrepreneurial zones, small manufacturing start-ups and tech incubators. The massive financial and personal investments in the city over the past ten years have delivered dramatic change to the business, social and cultural landscapes of the Crescent City. However, the heart, soul and mojo of New Orleans still thrive in what we do and have always done best: We host. We serve. We throw parties. We live too large and laugh too loud and talk too much and have turned these attributes into the greatest tourism destination in the United States.

04

BY CHRIS ROSE

In 2014, the city hosted just over 9.5 million visitors, the most since 2004. There are more than 86,000 service workers here to accommodate all those tourists and conventioneers – but that number doesn’t include your street musicians and magicians, your sidewalk falafel vendors and your generally joyous entertainers working off the grid with the singular mission of making good times for the throngs who’ve come calling from the American Heartland looking for escape. If it’s numbers that impress you, perhaps there is no figure more mind-boggling than the number of restaurants in the city — then and now. In 2005, city data shows there were 809 restaurants in New Orleans, and in 2015, with fewer residents in the city than before, that number tops 1,400. Now it’s 2016, so that number is probably even greater. In fact, since I started writing

MAY 2016 [ CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ]

that sentence, probably two more restaurants opened. And, they’re probably really good. It’s insane and counterintuitive and a whole bunch more stuff that defies logic, but the numbers don’t lie: To paraphrase the actress Sally Fields from her famed 1983 Oscar acceptance speech: You like us. You really, REALLY like us! And they do. You do. We all do. This city thrives on the backs of the people who deliver the goods every day and night of the week: The food, the music, the dance, the shopping, the mojo and the general triumph of the human spirit that is at the very beating heart of the city of New Orleans – you! The tourism guide books go on and on about our history and our architecture and our culture, but what makes this city great – what makes New Orleans like no other place in America – is our people.


CVB

PHOTO BY CHRIS GR ANGER PHOTO BY RICHARD NOWITZ PHOTO BY CHRIS GR ANGER

PHOTO BY CHRIS GR ANGER

New Orleans is a national landmark. New Orleanians are a national treasure. We are what makes this place so unique, unusual, eccentric, mysterious and just plain fun. It is often said and ground in truth and history that if you can’t make a friend here, you can’t make a friend anywhere. If you get a bad meal here, it’s probably your own fault. And if you can’t find a place and a band that makes you want to dance, well….your soul just might need some healing. And there’s nowhere better than New Orleans to soothe the soul, free the mind, unleash the spirit and nourish the inner joy that exists in all of us. Some folks call it the hospitality index. The industrial tourism complex. The convention industry. We just call it living, loving and laughing in the 504 — every day, in every way, however you want to say. From the French Quarter to the French Market to Frenchmen Street, from the steamboats to the streetcars, the casinos to the cemeteries to the carousels, the city parks to the party barges, the second line struts to the sissy bounce twerks. From the upstart pop-ups to pop art, White Linen Night to Dirty Linen Night, from St. Charles to St. Claude Avenues, the Bywater to Bayou St. John, from jazz brunch to jazz funerals to Jazz Fest. From Voodoo to Longue Vue, from Jackson Square to Tujaques to One Eyed Jack’s, from the live oaks to the Dueling Oaks to Mr. Okra – there is nothing, no place, no people like we’ve got here in the Big Easy. Not so big and not always easy, but you can do and be what you want to be here in the most tolerant city in America. It was either the great playwright Tennessee Williams, the great photographer Herman Leonard, the great songwriter Jimmy Buffett or the great comic actor Harry Shearer – or maybe it was all of them – who once said it right when they said: New Orleans is the one place in America where you can feel comfortable in your own skin. When you walk through our streets at night and are captivated by the aromas of coffee, the river, sweet olive, fish fry, soft rain, Oysters Rockefeller and the hard-beating heart inside your chest, you know you are alive. And know you are home.

[ CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ] MAY 2016

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NATIONAL TRAVEL & TOURISM WEEK THROUGH THE YEARS… CVB

THE TOURISM INDUSTRY PROVIDES MORE THAN

86,000

• Parade from the Royal Sonesta into the French Quarter!

FOR NEW ORLEANIANS. IT SUPPORTS INFRASTRUCTURAL RESOURCES. INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS TO OUR CITY RECEIVE FUNDING FROM SALES TAX REVENUE COLLECTED, AND WITH

VISITORS SPENDING MORE THAN

$155

IN OUR CITY IN A YEAR, OUR LOCAL GOVERNMENT HAS MORE AND MORE FUNDS TO UTILIZE.

MILLION IN LOCAL SALES TAX REVENUE.

WITHOUT THAT REVENUE, $1,100

MORE PAY IN TAXES ANNUALLY.

GROWTH

SECTOR IN

RETURNS

NEW

$17

ORLEANS

9 0 0

2

• Paraded from the Astor Crowne Plaza to Spanish Plaza • 7.5 million visitors • $4.2 billion visitor spending 06

MAY 2016 [ CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ]

0 1 0

2

• Paraded from the Astor Crowne Plaza to Spanish Plaza • 8.3 million visitors • $5.3 billion visitor spending

EVERY MARKETING DOLLAR INVESTED

EVERY HOUSEHOLD WOULD

TO OUR

LOCAL ECONOMY

1 1 0

2

• Paraded from the Astor Crowne Plaza to Spanish Plaza • 8.75 million visitors • $5.47 billion visitor spending

2 1 0

2

• Paraded from the Hotel Monteleone to the Cabildo • 9.1 million visitors • $6 billion visitor spending

3 1 0

2

• Paraded from the Royal Sonesta to Tableau Restaurant • 9.28 million visitors • $6.47 billion visitor spending

4 1 0

2

• Paraded from the Loews New Orleans Hotel to Champion Square/Club XLIV • 9.52 million visitors • $6.81 billion visitor spending

2016

#1 JOB

$7 BILLION

IT COLLECTS MORE THAN

More details on page 2.

STABLE JOBS

5 1 0

2

• Pep rally for tourism at the House of Blues • 9.78 million visitors • $7.05 billion visitor spending

[ CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ] MAY 2016

07


GETTING TO

INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT

N.O.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez

Q A

CHEF, SoBou

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

L

Though he’s been in New Orleans for roughly 16 years, Gonzalez says his career in hospitality stretches all the way back to his childhood. Those humble beginnings forged ahead into a fullblown career. Gonzalez notes that SoBou is a wonderful working environment where employees can have fun — as long as they stay focused. “The only thing we’re serious about is our food, our cocktails and our hospitality,” he says. The metaphor fits for the entire city of New Orleans: a place where we welcome everyone with open arms to enjoy themselves. It’s also the only city, he says, that pushes him to continue innovating and elevating his culinary craft.

A

Q A

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Q

NEW ORLEANS WILL…

A

…thrive and surprise you! 08

Q

PHOTO COURTESY OF SoBou

ocated next door to the sleek W Hotel on Chartres Street in the French Quarter, SoBou is one of those incredibly cosmopolitan restaurants that underscores New Orleans’ status as a culinary destination — as a part of the Commander’s Palace family of restaurants, it’s a premier example of the city’s robust dining scene. Inside, you’ll find Chef Juan Carlos Gonzalez, who cooks up inventive dishes that span classic Creole flavors to Latin influences and beyond.

MAY 2016 [ CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ]

Tell us about your role as chef at SoBou. It’s the most fun job I’ve ever had – the Louisiana street food inspired dishes I get to create along with the fun interactions I have with our guests, and our bar. Bar Chef Laura Bellucci’s cocktails blow me away. This is the best gig ever! What path led you to this point in your career? How did your career in tourism & hospitality begin? It goes all the way back to my childhood. My mother hosted so many family gatherings, and I was right there in the kitchen helping her prepare these amazing feasts. And she had to make sure that everyone enjoyed themselves – I think that’s when I realized how great it was to make others happy through food. How does our thriving tourism industry affect restaurants in our city? People come to our city for our food, and they love our sophisticated, but kicky attitude. We love our locals, but the tourists are our lagniappe. My job gives me the opportunity to show off our culture to everyone. And I love nothing more than talking to foodies from all over. Without the evolving tourism scene, I don’t think we would have been pushed to play with our cuisine as much or to continue to evolve it. What do you love most about this city? There is always something going on. It’s said that New York is the city that never sleeps, but we give them a run for their money.


INSIDE VIEUX

CVB

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

LATEST NEWS FROM THE CVB TOURISM

THE BUSINESS OF INTERNATIONAL LEISURE TRAVEL The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is harnessing the buying power of International travelers.

N

ew Orleans continues to be one of the top vacation destinations for Americans. The team at the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) is working to increase the city’s draw for travelers from around the world.

THE POWER OF INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS

According to the U.S. Travel Association, 75 million international visitors came to the United States in 2014, spending more than $145 billion. International visitors are vital to the continued growth of New Orleans’ tourism industry as they are more affluent and

help support many of the industry’s goals, such as midweek travel.

GROWING PARTNERSHIPS WITH INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL AGENTS AND TOUR OPERATORS

world each year. The Tourism Sales team also organizes trips for travel professionals to visit New Orleans in an effort to familiarize them with the city and grow the relationship. As a result, New Orleans is seeing an increase in travelers booking through these companies.

WELCOMING IPW 2016

visitors over the next three years.

TRENDING UP

Visitors to the United States consistently discuss wanting an authentic experience, unlike anything they have ever encountered. New Orleans’ visitor numbers continue to increase and international visitors will continue to make up a larger part of the tourists. The New Orleans CVB is working to diversify the visitor mix to the Crescent City. More international visitors will mean more city revenue from hotels, restaurants and attractions and increased exposure for New Orleans on the world stage. Additionally, the New Orleans CVB is looking for individuals who speak a foreign language for upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Additionally, the New Orleans CVB secured IPW, the “Superbowl of all travel conferences,” for June 2016. This event will bring 1,800 of Buying habits and travelthe top travel professionals related laws vary dramatically and journalists from more around the world and many than 70 countries into New consumers still rely heavily Orleans for five days. The on their travel agent or prefer U.S. Travel Association booking a group tour. The estimates that as a result of New Orleans CVB continues hosting IPW, New Orleans to work with companies that will realize an additional sell travel. The Tourism Sales 400,000 international team attends more than 26 trade shows and conducts To request more information, sales calls and meetings with email tourism@neworleanscvb.com travel buyers around the

[ CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ] MAY 2016

09


INSIDE VIEUX LATEST NEWS FROM THE CVB +++++++++++++++++++++++++

CONVENTION SALES

LET OUR WAY OF LIFE INSPIRE YOUR

WAY OF WORK

New Orleans means something different to each of us as locals but we are all proud of the diverse nature of our city. When we invite groups to bring their business, we compete on a national and sometimes a global stage to win very complex bids and our audiences have different interests and priorities. “We want to depict all of the rich cultural traditions that give New Orleans depth and meaning. There are many fun favorites that have served us well but that may not open new doors for groups that have not considered us in the past.

10

MAY 2016 [ CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ]

There are so many extraordinary individuals in our community that make this a special place. We need to tell those stories and share more about our history that allows new perceptions and understanding to develop as we build our business.” – Cara Banasch, MBA, Senior Vice President of Business Development and Strategy. Let our way of life inspire your way of work. The new meeting campaign suggests that experiencing new things opens doors to also having new thoughts and seeing new opportunities. Highlighting our unique tradition of the Mardi Gras Indian, we were pleased to partner with and feature one of our most accomplished chiefs.

NKEM BIG CHIEF BRIAN HARRISON NELSON is the leader of the Guardians of the Flame group. He is the fourth of five generations of the Harrison Family to participate in the unique New Orleans tradition of masking with feathers and narrative beadwork. The group started by his late grandfather, the legendary Big Chief Donald Harrison, Sr. celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014. In the same year, he was crowned a Nkem, royal chief, within the N’weh Nation of Cameroon, West Africa. In 2011, Brian earned a MFA in Cinematic Arts from the University of Southern California. His thesis film, “Keeper of the Flame,” has received local, national and international awards and honors. In addition to filmmaking, Brian currently coordinates youth anti-bullying and literacy campaigns throughout New Orleans. Brian portrayed Trail Chief Wardell on HBO’s Tremé Series. He is also a recording artist who has been featured on several CDs and is the executive director and producer of an upcoming release that is certain to take the music community by storm.


LATEST NEWS FROM THE CVB

VIEUX INSIDE +++++++++++++++++++++++++

MEMBERSHIP

CVB

TOURISM IS GROWING...

ARE YOU GETTING YOUR PIECE OF THE PIE? The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau links you to visitors to boost your bottom line. Increase your visibility by connecting to more than 1,400 journalists and 1,000 meetings coming to New Orleans annually. Increase your reach through our print and online channels directly targeting millions of visitors. Better than advertising alone, membership with the New Orleans CVB brings visitors to you through direct contact with customers, meetings and conventions, decision makers and executives.

Let us show you what you’re missing... Check out our webpage at www.neworleanscvb.com/ membership or contact us at 504.566.5027 or membership@neworleanscvb.com.

According to the internet, Tuesdays are the worst. But not in New Orleans. See how we’re making every Tuesday a Happy Tuesday with midweek deals and events you can only find in NOLA on HappyTuesday.com

[ CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU ] MAY 2016

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TOURISM MATTERS #nttw16 #tourismmatters

Tourism Matters  

presented by the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau

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