New Orleans is moving and shaking and is one of the fastest growing cities in America. One of the largest sources of fuel for our economy is our leading industry of tourism. New Orleans has been welcoming tourists for almost 300 years, and because of our vibrant, stand-out-culture, tourism will always be a large part of our livelihood. Since each and every tourism dollar is spent several times over within our local economy before leaving, that income is valuable to each and every one of us. We can all do our part to be good hosts to the people that visit our city and spend their hard earned money here. Here are some simple ways to do it.
New Orleanians are some of the most charming and friendly people around. We talk with our neighbors and can strike up a conversation anywhere. When you see someone from out of town, you can often tell by the way they are taking in the city with fresh eyes. Don’t be shy, it’s not in our nature; give a tourist a smile.
2. Help A Friend In Need
If you see someone fumbling with a map and looking back and forth between street signs, odds are, that person could use a helping hand. It gives one a sense of pride to know our wonderful city so well, so if you can share your intimate knowledge of New Orleans with someone who could really use it, everybody wins. Offer to give a visitor directions, or even suggest a better route.
3. Share A Secret
There will always be the really popular bars and restaurants that tourists gravitate towards, but every local has a favorite spot for food, drinks, music, and more, and if you share a local insider tip like that, you not only expose someone to a new experience and side of New Orleans that they might not otherwise see, but you also encourage patronage at some of your favorite places.
4. Share A Story
I think we can all agree that, on the whole, New Orleanians know how to tell a good story. With our particular joie de vivre and eternal quest for joy, we have a special style of speaking and sharing our history that translates into a storytelling experience that you can’t really find other places. Our history, traditions, and style survive because we share it with each other and others. If you are out and about and find yourself striking up a conversation with someone from out of town, don’t hesitate to share a story with them.
5. Put Yourself In Their Shoes
We’ve all had an experience where we were outsiders, and maybe someone took the time and found a way to make you feel welcome. Those memories stay with us. Just as we would hope to be welcomed into another city, we can do our part to be gracious hosts to tourists. It helps our economy and our reputation, but most importantly it’s who we are as New Orleanians.