NEW ORLEANS, May 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The summer travel season is kicking off and according to a recent survey, the appeal of New Orleans continues to grow among potential travelers, thanks to carefully plotted tourism strategies put in place by tourism industry leaders.
A newly released survey* commissioned by the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau indicates that 73 percent of travelers younger than 35 years old and 68 percent of travelers ages 35 and older say that New Orleans has become more appealing during the past 5-10 years, while 70 percent of all respondents said their perception of the city has changed in the six years since Hurricane Katrina, with many citing successful recovery and rebuilding efforts.
With an unprecedented comeback story, by all measures the city is booming. New Orleans currently has more restaurants than before Katrina and between January 2012 and February 2013 will host the 2012 BCS National Championship, the 2012 NCAA Men's Final Four, the 2012 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament, the 2013 NCAA Women's Final Four, Super Bowl XLVII and expects to welcome approximately 900 meetings and conventions.
Last year saw all-time record-breaking visitor spending and 8.75 million visitors which was on par with the strongest pre-Katrina years.
"Tourism—especially after a catastrophic hurricane that made headlines globally—doesn't just happen. It's the result of aggressive sales and marketing strategies executed with patience, conviction and passion," said New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau CEO Stephen Perry.
"But visitors won't come to a destination with a negative reputation and they won't want to return to a place where they had a negative experience, which is why our work has been so vital and why these results are so satisfying: they prove our efforts to change perceptions and drive tourism are working."
Other compelling findings from the survey include:
- The BP oil spill was not a strong top of mind association among survey respondents, further proof that the CVB-lead campaign was successful in combating misperceptions related to the oil spill
- 57 percent of respondents say city is fully or mostly recovered from Katrina
- Desire for repeat travel is strong, especially among survey respondents who had been to New Orleans since Katrina
- 84 percent of survey respondents rated New Orleans excellent or good on uniqueness
- 83 percent of survey respondents rated New Orleans excellent or good on variety and quality of local cuisine and local culture
- 82 percent of survey respondents rated New Orleans excellent or good on nightlife
As is the case with most tourist destinations, the hospitality industry is the linchpin of the New Orleans economy. It provides 74,000 jobs, making it the city's largest employer and a critical driver of revenue not only for the city but the entire state of Louisiana due to its estimated $5 billion economic impact.
*This survey was conducted by KRC Research between April 25, and May 4, 2012. This research was conducted via an online survey among 1,000 respondents. To qualify for this survey, respondents had to indicate that they are at least 18 years old, have traveled for pleasure on an overnight trip at least once in the past 12 months, and are not outright rejecters of New Orleans as a potential travel destination.
The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nationally accredited, 1,000-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, Phoenix and four foreign countries. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrated its 51st anniversary in 2011. For more information, please visit www.neworleanscvb.com.
New Orleans CVB
SOURCE New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau