Looking around our city, it’s pretty amazing to recognize how far we have come, so fast, since being a city under water not long ago. It is very obvious that New Orleans had no intention of creeping back onto the national scene, we came back fighting and ready to go. Throughout history, our culture and unmistakable spirit has bounced back from great fires, battles, and hurricanes, and in our time, we have proven every bit as resilient as our ancestors.
In the past 8 years, New Orleans has not only resumed daily life, we have improved our economic, creative, and social landscapes, bringing new kinds of success and notoriety to our city. New Orleans was named one of the top 10 cities for young entrepreneurs by Under30CEO, and we have seen incredible innovation and creativity here at home. Our local film scene, “Hollywood South,” is next behind Los Angeles and New York in productions, and is growing stronger every day, with big-budget productions like “American Horror Story” and “22 Jump Street” filming right now, as well as an army of local filmmakers and industry professionals congregating and training right here in New Orleans. We have hosted several hugely successful sporting events like the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four and Super Bowl XLVII, and we were just recognized as North America’s Leading Sports Tourism Destination at the 2013 World Travel Awards. We have more wildly popular festivals than ever, and investors are looking at New Orleans with fresh eyes now because of our rapid, transformative growth. And those are just a few of the top honors and successes that New Orleans has earned in recent years.
A big factor in all of this growth has been the will of New Orleanians. We have been working hard and showing the country, and the world, that we are not just surviving, but we are thriving. Our number one industry of tourism has played an integral role in our success, as well. Our tourism organizations have fought hard to make sure that the world knows exactly what we are doing down here, and enticing people to not only witness our indelible spirit, but also enjoy the fruits of our labors – and ultimately feed our economy. Last year tourists spent $6 billion in New Orleans, an all-time high for us; tourism is the largest money-maker for our economy and we’ve got the goods to attract. Because of our hard work, visitors have plenty of reasons to return home singing our praises.
We have seen such wonderful progress in New Orleans, but we have further to go, and we will not stop fighting for an even brighter future. Where do you see us heading in the future? What kinds of goals do you wish to see New Orleans accomplish? Let us know on Facebook and Twitter!