March 4, 2013
SILVER SPRING, MD—Ascend Hotel Collection, part of Choice Hotels International, Inc., will expand with four new hotels: Arroyo Pinion Hotel in Sedona, AZ; Napa Winery Inn in Napa Valley, CA; Carmel Mission Inn in Carmel, CA; and St. James Hotel in New Orleans, LA.
These are the portfolio’s first properties in Napa Valley, Carmel and Sedona, and its second hotel in New Orleans.
The Napa Winery Inn offers 59 guestrooms, each with dark wood furnishings, large windows and regionally inspired artwork. Some rooms also feature patios, wet bars and large sitting areas. There’s a courtyard with heated outdoor pool and hot tub and meeting space accommodating up to 50 people.
The St. James Hotel, New Orleans, a refurbished, 86-room boutique hotel, offers guestrooms and suites decorated with West Indies décor. Deluxe rooms offer balconies with panoramic views of downtown and four-poster beds with spacious sitting areas.
Carmel Mission Inn features 165 guestrooms equipped with free WiFi and flat-screen televisions. The Fuse Lounge Café serves breakfast, dinner and cocktails daily, with live music on weekends. Among the other amenities are spa services, a fitness room, outdoor heated pool and hot tub, courtyard with fire pit and gardens. Five meeting rooms accommodate groups of up to 275 people for weddings, meetings and private parties.
Arroyo Pinion Hotel, which recently completed a top-to-bottom renovation, offers 45 guestrooms and suites with custom-made solid wood furniture, locally inspired artwork and environmentally friendly bath amenities. Some suites also have fireplaces, jetted tubs, separate sitting areas and patios. It offers a fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, hot tub and complimentary continental breakfast daily. Across the street, the full-service Namaste Spa offers specials for hotel guests.
These new additions expand the current portfolio to 77 properties open, with signed agreements for an additional 24 slated to debut during the next two months.
Good press for New Orleans around Super Bowl 2013 reached an audience of millions, says tourism study…. Read the rest of this entry »
February 17, 2013
NEW ORLEANS —
Days after thousands of stranded cruise ship passengers returned from sea in the Gulf of Mexico, the Port of New Orleans and tourism leaders are addressing concerns that the dream vacation that turned into a nightmare could impact the cruise industry negatively.
Gary Lagrange of the Port of New Orleans said the city has not felt the impact of Carnival Cruise’s Triumph cruise.
“We don’t think anybody’s going to jump out there and really start to cancel their cruises,” Lagrange said.
Mark Romig of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation agreed.
“We don’t see any impact at all,” Romig said. “In fact, cruising out of New Orleans is becoming much more popular than ever before.”
New Orleans saw a record number of 750,000 cruise passengers in 2011, up from 80,000 in 1993, with a direct economic impact of $200 million.
The cruise industry employs more than 5,000 people and has a payroll of $225 million each year.
“We think if New Orleans had this happen on a ship home ported here as opposed to Galveston, (we) would have had a much more detrimental economic impact,” Lagrange said.
Building on the success of the New Orleans cruise industry, Lagrange said plans are in the works for a third terminal at Poland Avenue to accommodate more ships from Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines that call New Orleans home.
“The hotel industry loves the cruise industry because folks come in a couple of days early,” Romig said. “They say they enjoy the restaurants, the attractions and then they get on their ship and sometimes they stay a couple of days afterward.”
Read more: http://www.wdsu.com/news/local-news/new-orleans/Port-of-New-Orleans-and-local-tourism-leaders-address-economic-concerns-after-Triumph/-/9853400/18585092/-/format/rsss_2.0/-/117n4lk/-/index.html#ixzz2LH4m9pnK
“A poll of hotels in the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association before the Super Bowl showed occupancy rates above 99 percent.”
February 15, 2013
By Mark Waller, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune
Tourism industry promoters in New Orleans are describing the just-finished marathon of Super Bowl and Mardi Gras festivities as a success equal to an extended, super-sized Mardi Gras. Economic studies of the football championship extravaganza and full data on Mardi Gras 2013 are not yet available, but tourism officials pointed to encouraging evidence.
A poll of hotels in the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association before the Super Bowl showed occupancy rates above 99 percent. On the Saturday before Mardi Gras, the week after the Super Bowl, a survey of hotels belonging to the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau showed the brisk business continuing with 97 percent occupancy.
“The Super Bowl extended the whole Carnival season,” said Kelly Schulz, convention bureau spokeswoman. “I think it was really good for business.”
And attention from the Super Bowl seemed to echo into Mardi Gras, Schulz said. Schulz and CVB President Stephen Perry did television interviews from their building on St. Charles Avenue as parade floats passed on Tuesday. They appeared on 34 stations nationwide, about double the number of past satellite media “tours” they’ve conducted, reaching an estimated 3.2 million people in 32 cities, which she attributed to lingering Super Bowl interest and the live timing on the culminating day of carnival.
The New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee projected a $211 million spending boost from hosting the National Football League spectacle and $434 million in overall economic activity. A Tulane University study in 2011 concluded Mardi Gras creates a $144 million direct infusion and about a $301 million overall benefit, including ripple effect spending.
But Schulz, along with Super Bowl organizers and other tourism leaders, argued that the publicity from the game, which was full of praise for New Orleans with the exception of the 34-minute power outage at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, has immeasurable value.
“It’s an industry that’s based very much on image and perception and how people feel about the destination,” Schulz said about tourism. “We could never create the marketing campaign that would reach that far.”
Mark Romig, president of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, said the threat of rain on several days of Carnival, which mostly failed to materialize into storms during the height of the celebrations, seemed to lower crowds for some parades but create pent-up demand that fueled a particularly vibrant Tuesday.
“When Tuesday turned out to have this great window,” of workable weather, he said, “I think people poured out into the streets.”
Romig said he has also heard strong results from hotels.
Crowd counts for Mardi Gras, including its earlier weekends, often come in around 1 million people, Romig said, though he hasn’t yet seen estimates for this year. Super Bowl visitor numbers were projected between 100,000 and 150,000.
Some indicators, such as attendance estimates of 150,000 at the Super Bowl-affiliated music festival at Woldenberg Park, a number that includes New Orleans residents, suggest turnout for game week might have reached high into the expected range.
Although New Orleans took a break from Mardi Gras during Super Bowl weekend, Jefferson Parish proceeded with its Family Gras festival and reported a record crowd of about 100,000.
“Overall the last three weeks have been red letter days for the city,” Romig said. “Small business gets a good pop out of it. Hospitality jobs are secured.”
“It’s something we can look back on and feel very good that it happened and we all pulled together and did it,” he said.
Ads urge tourists to come to Louisiana for a variety of reasons,
February 13, 2013
By Marsha Shuler,Capitol news bureau- The Advocate
Louisiana music is the focus of the state’s 2013 tourism campaign launched this week in markets around the country.
“Music is the soul of Louisiana and it’s one of the many passions to draw people to the state, so we decided to focus on our substantial music legacy this year,” said Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, who oversees state tourism efforts.
The campaign includes a series of 30-second television commercials and print and Web advertisements. The initial expenditure for the spring buy is $2 million, Dardenne said.
Some of the print ads will be made into posters, he said.
The ads run in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Little Rock and Memphis, which are “traditional drive markets,” as well as Atlanta and Chicago — cities with direct flights to New Orleans, Dardenne said. Chicago is a new focus, he said.
“Our objective is to get people in the door in Louisiana and hopefully open doors to other parts of the state,” Dardenne said.
The ad campaign was created by Trumpet, a New Orleans-based advertising firm under contract with the Office of Tourism.
Dardenne said whatever tourism officials can do to get more people to Louisiana will add dollars to the economy as well as jobs.
“Obviously, the more money we are able to generate from people visiting our state, the larger impact,” he said.
Some 25.5 million people visited Louisiana last year. “We expect that number to increase,” Dardenne said.
One in 11 Louisiana jobs are in the hospitality industry, Dardenne said.
“It’s a $10 billion industry,” Dardenne said. “The money we spend on bringing people to Louisiana is going to create jobs in Louisiana.”
Dardenne said the tourism ad campaign is “a modest buy” compared with Louisiana’s competitors. He said Tennessee’s governor wants to increase that state’s tourism budget by $8 million. “Florida is steadily increasing its tourism budget,” he said.
“We have maintained the level of spending we had last year. We are trying to move in the right direction in terms of our budget,” Dardenne said.
The television spots feature Louisiana music and musicians. Each ends with an announcer urging “Come to Louisiana and Pick Your Passion.”
In one, musicians play as the words “Where the music never stops … And most of it started” pop up on the screen.
Another starts with a jazz trumpeter as “The Birthplace of Jazz” pops up on the screen then moves on to snippets of musicians playing zydeco, swamp pop and brass hop “and a couple of things we’re not sure what they call yet,” according to the ad.
“Officials estimate 1 million people came to the area for Carnival this year…”
February 13, 2013
BY DANNY MONTEVERDE, The Advocate
New Orleans — With this year’s bifurcated Carnival behind them, city and tourism officials have begun to tally the season’s economic impact on the area.
Kelly Schulz, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, on Wednesday said that even though many final figures are still being totaled, this year’s celebration was a “tremendous success,” helped in part by its role in book ending Super Bowl XLVII.
“Both Mardi Gras and Super Bowl should provide a long-term boost to our city’s vital $5 billion tourism industry, which is our lifeblood, employing 75,000 citizens in every local neighborhood,” Schulz said in a prepared statement.
Preliminary occupancy numbers from CVB member hotels showed that 87 percent of area rooms were booked on Friday. That number rose to 97 percent on Saturday and dropped to 67 percent by Tuesday.
This year’s numbers are largely below last year’s figures, which saw Fat Tuesday’s hotel occupancy at 81 percent, for example. But Schulz said that she expects them to even out when the final numbers come in.
Officials estimate 1 million people came to the area for Carnival this year, which was split in half to accommodate the Super Bowl, Schulz said.
In regard to the money funneled into the city’s coffers, that also will take time to tabulate, but according to a recent update to an economic impact study of Carnival 2009, the city took in about $13.1 million in net revenue.
Net expenditures in 2009, according to the study released by the CVB, were $1.7 million that year. The largest expenses involved police at $1.5 million, mainly for overtime, and the sanitation department, which spent $825,000.
City Hall spokesman Ryan Berni on Wednesday said those numbers for 2013 were not yet available.
February 12, 2013
By KSEE Sales
This Mardi Gras is a special one for New Orleans.
It will mark 30-years that the French Quarter festival has welcomed hundreds of thousands of visitors to enjoy its Fat Tuesday festival. Here are some interesting facts about Mardi Gras, which in French means Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras has been a legal holiday in New Orleans, since 1875.
More than 70 parades roll through the streets with tens of thousands of masked visitors on board throwing millions of plastic beads. The tradition of throwing beads from floats dates back to renaissance Europe.
Fat Tuesday is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday, which is the 40 day Solemn Lenten season, observed by Christians leading up to Easter Sunday. Amanda Jaurigu spoke to the president and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau and has more.
For the full interview click here.
Online Hospitality Management Degrees
Competition is fierce for the best jobs in the hospitality industry. That’s why earning a degree in hospitality online makes sense. In this industry, you may need both a degree and professional experience. Online programs in hospitality give you choices and flexibility so you can further your education while working in the field.
Look for online programs in hospitality approved by the Accreditation Commission for Programs in Hospitality Administration (ACPHA). If the program you are considering isn’t accredited, you may want to speak with potential employers to get their opinion so you can be sure your investment will pay off. Keep in mind that the ACPHA accredits bachelor’s and master’s programs. Online associate and certificate programs can be high quality and not have that stamp of approval.
If you already have a college degree and some experience, consider an online certificate in hospitality. While you can earn a general hospitality certificate online, you also have many choices of specializations, such as a certificate in spa management or food service management. If you know what kind of work you want to do, earning a specialized hospitality certificate online shows employers you are serious about the field.
Online associate degrees in hospitality offer the same level of specialization, but with more intensive academics. You’ll get a liberal arts background and a foundation in general business principles before focusing on your specialization.
Some of the most competitive jobs require hands-on experience as well as an advanced degree. While accredited online master’s degrees in hospitality are not plentiful, there are several highly regarded options.
College of Southern Nevada: You don’t have to travel to Las Vegas to learn casino management. The College of Southern Nevada’s specialized certificate in hospitality and casino management is an example of the kinds of specialized hospitality certificates that you can earn online. This program gives you expertise in understanding the special laws governing casino operation, and how to manage everything from employees to the front office to casino marketing. The 30 or so credit hours will take about a year to complete.
University of Massachusetts Amherst: UMass Amherst’s top-rated Bachelor of Science in hospitality and tourism management degree is now available online. This four-year program covers food service, event and meetings management and hotel management. You take the same courses from the same professors as with the on-campus degree, and your diploma is identical. UMass has long-standing industry relationships that may help you get internships and, upon graduation, a full-time job.
Fort Hays State University: For maximum flexibility, consider Fort Hays State University’s online Master of Business Administration in tourism and hospitality management. The entire program is online, which makes it an ideal option if you are working. There is no penalty if you need to take a break for a semester or two as you work to complete your degree. In as little as two years, you can gain a solid business education combined with a custom-built curriculum in your area of specialization.
Introduction to Careers in Hospitality Management
Hotels, resorts, spas, and travel and tourism agencies all have at least one thing in common – hospitality management. Have you ever wondered what kind of work goes into a vacation from consulting with a travel agent to booking a hotel room? The answer lies in hospitality management, the career choice for customer-savvy, organizers who strive to make sure clients have a good time.
Advice from the Experts
We recently interviewed Jim Reddekopp, Chairman and CEO of the National Tour Association. Mr. Reddekopp shares insight on the current job outlook for college graduates entering the tourism industry, as well as emerging issues in the field that students should be following. We also spoke with Joseph McInerney, President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association. In the interview, Mr. McInerney discusses the mission of AH&LA, how students can benefit from joining the organization, and how to best prepare for a career in the industry.
Jim Reddekopp: For the interview please go to:
Joseph McInerney: For the interview please go to:
Hospitality Management Job Description
Hospitality management covers a broad range of career paths, all with the same basic goal: keep the customer happy. Hospitality managers might take the form of a resort manager in the Caribbean, a motel manager in Tuscaloosa, or a manager on a cruise line. No matter the location, though, managers are responsible for providing customer satisfaction and making sure their employees do the same. The customer must always come first.
Hospitality Management Requirements
Traditionally, hospitality careers had a “promote from within” mentality. These days, experience is crucial, but many upscale resorts, hotels, and restaurants require that an individual possess a degree in hospitality management. Bachelor’s degrees are offered, but many of the more established resorts and hotels look to hire those with related master’s degrees. Many schools offer specific studies such as hotel and resort management, which allow you to hone in on the hospitality career of your choice. For an upper hand in the field, internship experience is encouraged as well.
Hospitality Management Career Outlook
In a down economy less money is spent on travel and dining out, which can pretty heavily constrict the hospitality market. Even so, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs are expected to grow by a small percentage in the next few years. Most of this growth will occur as chains expand into more suburban areas. Salaries in this field can vary wildly. Managers of small hotels can earn about $50,000, while managers of luxury resorts can earn six figures, plus perks.
Hospitality Management Trends
The travel industry is likely to follow the economy in recovery, and as it does more opportunities will open. In the current market, jobs span from tiny family-owned bed-and-breakfasts to expansive and expensive hotel wonderlands complete with casinos and entertainment complexes. Not surprisingly, the mega resorts offer the most career opportunities, but excellent, service-oriented hospitality managers are often in demand across the industry. The right education and experience can help launch you into a hospitality career.
February 5, 2013
Don Ames Reporting, WWL-AM870
Good-bye Super Bowl folks, hello Carnival crowd!
It’s a moving day, of sorts, for metro area hotels. The football fans are checking out and the Mardi Gras folks will be checking in.
Mavis Early, Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association, says it won’t be a problem.
“We’re going to have a smooth transition, even if people are incoming on Monday,” she says. “We’ve done this numerous times before when we’ve had back-to-back, major events.”
Actually, she doesn’t expect a lot of Mardi Gras check-ins today. That traffic will start to pick up on Wednesday, though, and she says “bring ‘em on!”
“We like all crowds in New Orleans!”
She doesn’t expect a lot of lingering Super Bowl folks to take up rooms that the Carnival crowd will be demanding.
“I don’t think the majority of the Super Bowl people are staying for Mardi Gras. But, some are staying a little while longer…just a couple of days.”
So, she says there will be accommodations to be had for the upcoming weekend.
“I don’t think it’ll be a problem,” says Early. “We’ll have rooms available for Mardi Gras.”
The exodus is expected to exceed the arrivals. Early says nothing matches a Super Bowl when it comes to hotel occupancy.
“Super Bowl, we were at 99.42 percent occupied,” says Early. “For Mardi Gras, we usually don’t get those kinds of numbers, but we’ll be in the 90s.”
Those occupancy rates will climb through the week.
“Wednesday and Thursday, about 85 percent. Friday, a little over 90 percent…Saturday, higher than that and then we pretty much stay at that through Monday night.”
So, she says, if you’ve got friends still thinking of coming to Mardi Gras…”Tell them to come! They’ll get accommodations.”
But, tell them not to wait too long.
“Economic impact of the Super Bowl is expected to be $430 million…”
February 4, 2013
Katie Moore / Eyewitness News
NEW ORLEANS — The Super Bowl is over and people all across the city are assessing the impact that it had on New Orleans.
Everyone from business owners to locals to tourists wanted to be a part of the event, and all indications are they were. In fact, the number of visitors may have exceeded expectations.
Sites that were bustling with tourists over the weekend were covered with work crews Monday morning.
At the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, crews worked little-by-little to deconstruct the things that were built for the big game, and they only have about a week to do it.
Restaurants like Lucy’s Retired Surfer Bar and Restaurant are still reaping the benefits from the Super Bowl, but by Monday it was with bloody marys instead of beer.
“At our highest volume, we do an enormous amount of beer, obviously. So, when we did our order on Friday anticipating what we were gonna do, thought we had everything covered. Saturday morning had to have another 200 cases of beer delivered,” said Deborah Schumacher, general manager of Lucy’s.
They had 150 more delivered on Sunday. But they weren’t the only ones who may have underestimated the impact.
“We thought we would see about 150,000 people in the city throughout the Super Bowl week, and the fact that we had that many people coming down to Woldenberg Park, we think that those numbers will creep up and be over 150,000,” said Mark Romig, the executive director of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation.
Economic impact of the Super Bowl is expected to be $430 million. Romig said those estimates will be verified in the coming days.
“It was nuts. We were having a great time. Until they threw us out,” said Dan Basil, a fan of the Baltimore Ravens who attended the game and then headed out to Lucy’s afterward.
He was one of the many football fans eating out Monday after partying into the wee hours of the morning. The bar did four times the business of a normal weekend.
“I would have to say it was a phenomenal experience, not just for the people who live here, but for the people that came in from out of town,” Schumacher said.
City leaders didn’t respond to our requests for information about how the city, including the New Orleans Police Department, handled the response to the Super Bowl.