New Orleans' Tourism Industry Thriving
in Fourth Quarter 2006
September 29, 2006 - When the New Orleans Saints kicked off against the Atlanta Falcons before a nationwide audience Monday night, the moment signaled more than just the re-opening of the iconic Louisiana Superdome and the largest audience in ESPN history. It was a jumpstart to the city's critical hospitality industry for the fall of 2006, featuring a full convention calendar, the return of cruise ships, three major sporting events, and a 30,000-person convention, the largest New Orleans has seen in two years.
Monday night's game was the biggest audience of the night among all TV networks, broadcast or cable. The dome re-opening, including pre-game concerts by the Goo Goo Dolls, U2 and Green Day, and a coin toss by former U.S. President Bush, featured an audience of nearly 70,000, a Saints victory by 20 points, and an estimated $20 million being pumped into the city's economy.
"The re-opening of the Superdome is a resounding success economically and emotionally," says Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. "The imagery of the Convention Center and the Superdome the nation saw a year ago is being replaced by a new national image, with thousands of returning conventioneers and cheering visitors and locals. Monday's game gave us an unprecedented opportunity to tell the world that we are back. The feeling in that Superdome and the energy in New Orleans right now is indescribable."
The hospitality industry is responsible for approximately one-third of the city's operating budget, $210 million supporting police, EMS, infrastructure, sanitation and education, and is the area's largest employer with 85,000 jobs. Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, perhaps the most important manufacturing plant in the state, reopened June 19 after a $60 million renovation in time for the American Library Association, first citywide meeting to return to New Orleans.
Other signs of progress: Major Sporting Events
As New Orleans Saints Drew Brees said in a Sept. 21st Times-Picayune article, "It's important just to show that the city is very much alive and people are excited to be here -- and there's no doubt in their minds that the city's going to come back better than ever. I think that's huge for people to see that, see the atmosphere, and say, 'Hey, that place is alive.' I think it's just even more motivation and a reason for people to bring back tourism and come down here and spend money, because it's such a special space."
About New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB)
Since 1960, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (http://www.neworleanscvb.com/ ) 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.
CONTACT: Kelly Schulz, +1-504-566-5045, or cell, +1-504-421-0962, firstname.lastname@example.org , or Erica Papillion, +1-504-566-5044, email@example.com , both of New Orleans Metropolitan Convention &Visitors Bureau
/Web Site: Web site: http://www.neworleanscvb.com/