MASTER PLAN TO REINVIGORATE TOURISM

Posted on: January 22 2010 | Posted in: Latest News
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:

Vanessa Mayfield

(504) 210-1304

mayfieldv@peteramayer.com

NEW ORLEANS TOURISM INDUSTRY LEADERS ANNOUNCE

NEW ORLEANS (January 19, 2010)—Today, Lt. Governor Mitchell J. Landrieu, and members of the New Orleans Hospitality Task Force (NOHT), released the details of a new master plan designed to reinvigorate the hospitality industry and allow New Orleans to reclaim its position as a world-class tourist destination. The overall goal of the master plan is to increase the number of annual visitors to New Orleans from today’s level of 7.6 million to 13.7 million by 2018, the City’s tri-centennial celebration. Achieving the overall goal will result in an estimated 33,000 new jobs, 700 million in incremental taxes and 11 billion in incremental spending, according to an economic analysis performed by the LSU School of Economics and the University of New Orleans.

The Lt. Governor appointed the NOHT in April 2009 with a charge to develop a strategy to grow New Orleans’ tourism market share. The NOHT selected The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), a global management consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy, to lead the study and planning effort. The NOHT and BCG also engaged many industry stakeholders in the development of the plan, holding numerous work sessions and meetings over an 18 week period. The resulting plan identifies five priorities for moving forward, in addition to twelve (12) specific initiatives to advance each priority:

1. Establish unified governance structure with sufficient funding for the hospitality industry

2. Aggressively focus on the basics to revitalize core assets and address weaknesses

3. Strengthen external positioning and branding

4. Build, engage and support a world-class workforce and community

5. Create additional ‘demand-generators’ through iconic, transformative development.

“I appreciate the work the task force has done to produce a master plan for the tourism industry in New Orleans,” said Lt. Governor Mitchell J. Landrieu. “This plan will lay the groundwork for creating jobs, growing tourism and making New Orleans a top travel destination for many years to come.”

“New Orleans continues to be a great destination, but we face stiff competition from other cities and there are some challenges to overcome. It was our goal to create a strategy for the industry that would allow us to achieve 13.7 million visitors by 2018,” said Doug Thornton, co-chair of the New Orleans Hospitality Task Force and senior vice president of SMG. “If we can achieve that result, it will mean huge economic benefits for our City and more jobs for our citizens.”

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According to the research provided by BCG, New Orleans has maintained its market share for meetings, conventions and non-leisure travel, while losing ground in the leisure market when compared to the national averages over the last nine (9) years. As pointed out in the study, if New Orleans does not act swiftly and decisively to reinvigorate tourism, the number of New Orleans’ visitors could decline. The cost of doing nothing:

· a two percent per year decline, resulting in a loss of $300 million in direct tax revenue over the next eight years

· This loss would be compounded by the attendant factors of lost jobs, reduced direct spending of approximately $4 billion and reduced indirect spending

“Today, we are taking a strategic approach to increasing New Orleans tourism – our city’s single largest economic engine,” said Darryl Berger, co-chair of the New Orleans Hospitality Task Force and principal/owner of The Berger Company, Inc. “Successful implementation of the plan will rely heavily on the industry stakeholders. It starts with a governance structure that allows us to present ourselves as a single unit with a common purpose, which is cited by BCG as ‘best-practice’ in other competitive cities.”

For more information or a copy of the master plan commissioned by the New Orleans Hospitality Task Force and based on the findings of the BCG study, please contact Vanessa Mayfield at 504.210.1304 or mayfieldv@peteramayer.com.

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