As New Orleans nears its tri-centennial, it’s time for us all to look at how much we have accomplished and to set our sights even higher. Our city has been thriving in new and wonderful ways, and we are very clearly in the middle a beautiful renaissance. Our number one industry of tourism has been a very important part of this growth. Whether or not you work in tourism, the dollars that are spent here by out-of-towners impact your life.
It’s true that so many industries, efforts, and factors affect our city’s growth and economic strength, but as Mayor Mitch Landrieu said at a gathering at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau earlier this year, “you always want to throw your strongest punch.” When your “strongest punch” is a tourism industry that generates $6 billion in spending for New Orleans in a year, it’s important that we support it any way we can. As a city, we are capable of nurturing growth in many different ways, and recognizing the positive impact that tourism has on New Orleans allows us to be smart about our efforts. There isn’t just one way to achieve success, but focusing our strength brings us more opportunities.
Tourism dollars bring in revenue for our local businesses, as well as important sales tax revenue, and they are spent several times throughout our city before leaving. Since we’ve got a culture that is incredibly appealing and vibrant, a mentality of generosity and friendliness, and a host of people eager to experience our city, nurturing that give and take relationship makes sense for our economy and our future.
NEW ORLEANS WILL put our best foot forward and use our resources wisely. As our tourism industry grows and our city grows with it, we can be grateful that ours is a culture that is worth sharing and worth visiting.