September 28 2011 | Latest NewsThe board of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. voted Tuesday to spend almost $10 million in 2012 to market New Orleans to visitors around the country.
New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. votes on 2012 budget
Published: Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Jaquetta White, The Times-Picayune
The board of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. voted Tuesday to spend almost $10 million in 2012 to market New Orleans to visitors around the country. The marketing corporation is launching a multifaceted campaign that calls for promoting New Orleans to a broad range of guests, primarily 25- to 50-year old adults with annual household income $55,000 or more.
Young adults, ages 25 to 34, are also in the target demographic as are travelers seeking authentic experiences and those interested in food, music and culture.
The marketing plan calls for promoting New Orleans to leisure travelers during traditionally slow periods such as the first two months of the year, summer and during the December holiday season.
The largest portion of the budget, $4.5 million, will be spent on the general media campaign. Another $2.3 million will go toward internet marketing. There are also allotments for special events, including the Christmas New Orleans Style campaign and the Essence Music Festival, for which $600,000 and $257,000 have been earmarked, respectively.
The budget still must be approved by the City Council.
As part of the budget, the marketing corporation plans to take $2.7 million from its $8 million reserve account.
NOTMC President Mark Romig said dipping into the reserve is necessary in 2012 to keep up the pace set this year. Visitor numbers and spending are up so far in 2011 following an expanded advertising campaign from the marketing corporation that included promoting New Orleans in more far-away markets.
The campaign was expanded because of a $3.8 million cash infusion passed along to the marketing corporation from BP to promote travel to New Orleans as part of the oil giant's mea culpa following its 2010 oil spill.
Visitation in the first half of 2011 increased 7.7 percent and spending rose 10.6 percent as compared with the same period of 2010.
Board chairman Darryl Berger said the marketing corporation wants to be able to spend the same amount on national advertising in 2012 as it did in 2011 to sustain the upward visitation and spending momentum.
"We could have taken a different approach and budgeted to zero but we would have had to cut way back on marketing," Berger said. "We're making a conscious choice to spend into reserves."
The tourism industry employs 70,000 people and generates $5 billion in visitor spending, annually, according to the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Five new members also were named to the marketing corporation board on Tuesday. They are: Nick Mueller, president and chief executive officer of the World War II Museum and Martin Driskell, David Teich, Russell Miller and Ted Selogie, general managers of the Intercontinental New Orleans, Windsor Court, Ritz-Carlton New Orleans and JW Marriott New Orleans hotels, respectively.
Jaquetta White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 504.826.3494.
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