World Tourism Day Has Local Significance

Sept. 27 marked World Tourism Day, a global day designed to foster awareness of the importance of tourism and its value across social, political, cultural, and economic entities. Though World Tourism Day underscored tourism’s global relevance, we know that the tourism industry is especially important in New Orleans – not just on World Tourism Day, but every single day of the year.

A view from the French Quarter toward downtown. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

A view from the French Quarter toward downtown. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

In 2014, New Orleans welcomed 9.52 million visitors, showcasing an increase of nearly a quarter of a million people from the previous year in 2013. Together, 2014 visitors spent $6.81 billion, injecting funds directly into our citywide economy (just see an example for the Path of a Tourism Dollar).

Our record-breaking numbers are setting an example for the entire world when it comes to providing an unforgettable experience for visitors that not only lets them enjoy their stay but also encourages them to come back time and again. In light of the 2014 tourism numbers, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, “New Orleans is on a roll. We’re thrilled that visitors — leisure and business alike — across the globe are taking notice.”

There are many successes to celebrate in New Orleans, but to honor World Tourism Day, we’re looking back at some of our most impressive statistics from the 2014 Visitor Survey, below:

  • Total spending increased by about 5.3 percent from 2013, tallying up to $6.81 billion
  • Spending increased across all major areas, including entertainment (11.3 percent increase), shopping (5.7 percent increase), and restaurants (2.9 percent increase)
  • 2 percent of visitors to the city were in New Orleans for vacation/pleasure
  • Cruise visitors represented 1.5 percent of the total number of visitors
  • 91 percent of cruise visitors stayed in New Orleans before or after their cruise

New Orleans’ success as a tourism destination would not be possible without all the locals who work in the industry. From the Reyes brothers to Larry Bailey to participants in the Flash Career Fairs, NEW ORLEANS WILL continue to succeed through the efforts of nearly 80,000 dedicated New Orleanians who work in the tourism industry.