Here in New Orleans, tourism is our top industry. And that means that it is our responsibility to welcome the many people that travel here and help our economy to thrive. But there are two reasons that being gracious hosts is important. One reason that we make visitors feel welcome is so that they continue to visit and make an impact on our local economy. The other reason is that being welcoming is who we are; it is deep in our nature and our roots.
New Orleanians love hosting, entertaining, and showing off our amazing, one-of-a-kind culture. We are bold and unapologetic, and we have a flair for the rhythm of life that is unique to us. We are not shy, and we love socializing and communing, always with a sense of “the more the merrier.” New Orleans has been welcoming people for 300 years; it’s one of the reasons our culture is so rich, with roots from all over the world. Welcoming tourists to our city, like welcoming company to our homes, is just us continuing to be who we are.
When we also keep in mind how beneficial tourism is to our economy, bringing in more than $6 billion in spending in a year, with each of those dollars being spent all over our city several times over before leaving, it makes sense why we have seen exponential growth and positive change in New Orleans, as our tourism industry has not only bounced back, but seen more success than ever.
There are so many ways we can strengthen our city, but New Orleanians, more than so many other people around the country, are in a special position to be able to grow our economy and improve our city just by staying true to ourselves – preserving and living our vibrant culture, and sharing it with as many people as we can.