Last year, tourist spending in New Orleans was at an all-time high at $6 billion. Upon hearing a statistic like that, some New Orleanians might tune out, thinking, “That has nothing to do with me,” but they couldn’t be more wrong. Like any large industry in a city, a thriving one fuels and supports the intricacies of the economy as a whole. When our number one industry of tourism is prosperous and growing, the success of every New Orleanian is affected.
The Path Of A New Orleans Tourism Dollar
Let’s say a bride-to-be, Fiancée Jane, lives in Virginia, but she is planning a wedding here in New Orleans. She and her future husband, Affianced Dave, met at Mardi Gras a few years back and fell deeply in love – with each other and the city of New Orleans. Though they live in a different state, they love our culture and crave the romance of New Orleans as a setting for their destination wedding. Fiancée Jane is meticulous in her wedding planning and she wants beautiful flowers for her ceremony, so she works with local New Orleans florist, Kim Starr Wise Floral Events. Fresh flowers are a priority for Fiancée Jane, so she spends a good bit of money on them. She has just created revenue for local business owner Kim Starr Wise, as well as tax revenue for our government. Yay!
But the tourism dollar’s reach doesn’t stop there. Since Kim Starr Wise’s floral business is keeping her busy and money from destination and local weddings is flowing in, she uses her income all over town here in New Orleans, further supporting our local economy. If she heads out for a night of New Orleans live music at Maison, she pays the cover fee, which goes to the venue and the local band, and also buys a few cocktails. Perhaps she bought something new and sassy to wear for her night out. When she buys clothes from her favorite local boutiques, she pays forward the success of her own business to the many local businesses that she patronizes.
The chain reaction of economic success is real, starting with the 6 billion tourism dollars that come in that reach deep into our daily lives. One piece to the puzzle doesn’t work without the others. Whether or not you work in the tourism or hospitality industry, the success of tourism in New Orleans can’t be denied, and should be celebrated and supported. When one of our industries thrives, we all benefit one way or another. How is your life affected by the tourism industry?