New Orleans is growing stronger every day, and our economy gets a huge boost from our largest industry: tourism. In the past eight years, we have let the world know that we are open for business, and people have heard that call. In 2012 New Orleans saw the highest tourist spending to date, with a total of $6 billion. Those tourism dollars come into our economy and are spent several times over before they leave, making tourism a hugely important part of the livelihood of every New Orleanian.
Another thing to remember about the importance of tourism dollars to our economy is that when visitors spend here in our city, they also contribute to our government by paying sales tax, which is spent in a number of ways, some of which include funding improvements to our city including stronger infrastructure, better schools, and safer neighborhoods. So many important aspects of life in New Orleans can be strengthened with the tax revenue we see from tourists. The economic benefits to our city from tourist spending are intricate and one piece of the puzzle doesn’t work without the others; but one thing is sure – each dollar makes a difference. The more happy tourists you see around town, the more our economy is strengthened, and the more their money reaches into our lives.
Sales tax is an important part of government funds, and we can be grateful that out-of-towners contribute. As with everything in our city, we have high hopes for the future of our city and funding is one of the greatest things that can bring about many of the changes we envision for ourselves.
The more tourism helps to grow our economy, the more we can utilize that increase in economic success to make a better New Orleans for each other and our children. What changes do you see in our future? What ways do you hope to see tourism dollars work for you?