Hospitality industry advocacy campaign rallies local support of tourism, city’s economic engine that creates a better quality of life for every New Orleans citizen
New Orleans leaders gathered today to share information on NEW ORLEANS WILL, an advocacy campaign designed by the New Orleans Convention& Visitors Bureau (NOCVB) to rally the community and educate residents on the significance of tourism to their lives. The event was held to begin enlisting locals in what will develop into a powerful grassroots movement.
Tourism is a $6 billion dollar industry for New Orleans, creating more than 78,000 jobs and careers for citizens in every neighborhood. In 2012, nine million people visited the city and they spent a record $6 billion dollars.
“You might not work in tourism, but tourism works for you,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of NOCVB. “Tourism is the cultural steward of New Orleans. Our residents in a relatively small city are able to live as if we're a city of millions in terms of our cultural richness and the assets (museums, restaurants, cultural attractions, festivals) given to us by the tourism industry. Because of tourism, New Orleans is the most famous mid-sized city in the world.”
The event gathered myriad business leaders and tourism officials in an unassuming floral warehouse surrounded by bright green foliage.
“We gathered at Convention Plant Creations today to unveil the NEW ORLEANS WILL campaign because this is just one of the many businesses working behind the scenes and keeping our tourism industry humming,” said Mark Romig, President and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. “You might drive by this place every day without ever noticing it. But there are hundreds of businesses like this across the city who depend on tourism directly to feed their families and put roofs over their heads.”
NEW ORLEANS WILL was created to demonstrate the connection between every citizen and tourism. While started by the NOCVB, the plan is for the campaign to become a grassroots movement that lives on in perpetuity, inspiring locals to take pride in their hometown and support its top industry – tourism.
Virtually everyone in New Orleans depends on tourism, whether it be because of the revenues it generates to support the city services that improve local quality of life or because of the ripple effect that carries visitor dollars throughout the community.
“While I don’t have any direct connection to the tourism industry, I know that my business depends on it,” said Dr. Christy Valentine, owner of Valentine Medical Center, a primary care facility in New Orleans. “I saw the impact of tourism on my practice first-hand during the BP oil spill. With the drop in visitation after the spill, my patients who rely on tourism for their paychecks were out of work. Healthcare was suddenly a luxury expense these patients just couldn't afford anymore and my revenue went down. It was an eye-opening experience.”
Residents are encouraged to take action and join the NEW ORLEANS WILL movement! To do so, visit www.neworleanswill.com and sign up to receive a complimentary WILLPOWER PACK, which contains campaign materials, including a lapel pin, bumper stickers, poster and yard sign.