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New Orleans Tourism Form Tricentennial Consortium to Promote TourismApril 23, 2013 By: Newswire
New Orleans tourism industry leaders and civic stakeholders gathered to announce the formation of their alliance as the Tricentennial Consortium on Monday, April 22. In addition, they presented their Tricentennial Plan, a holistic vision to be implemented in the next five years. It will create thousands of jobs, generate increased tourism demand, spur economic development and ensure the continued growth of New Orleans' economy. More specifically, the overarching goals are to attract 13.7 million visitors, create $11 billion in direct spending, 33,000 additional jobs and $700 million in tax revenue by the city’s 300th anniversary in 2018. The unified plan has been under development for the past three years to support the goals of The Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) 2010 Strategic Master Plan for the tourism and hospitality industry of the City of New Orleans.
The Tricentennial Plan for the next five years involves several legislative and infrastructure initiatives and two major public policy positions. These six public policy announcements and initiatives are united and indivisible and include the following:
1. The united industry (Consortium) is opposed to an increase in sales tax impacting hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, attractions and retailers in New Orleans. We deeply appreciate our legislature deferring these taxes.
2. The united industry (Consortium) is strongly opposed to any transfer or other use of Morial Convention Center financial reserves, which are comprised of revenues generated by taxes proposed by the New Orleans hotel and restaurant industry and that were collected and dedicated by law solely to convention center and hospitality infrastructure development. We consider any reallocations or taking to violate sound public and fiscal policy, and to be violative of all agreements with the hotel and restaurant industry that led to the enactment of the taxes, and very likely the law as well.
3. The united industry (Consortium) strongly supports a major Convention Center Vision Plan that includes the riverfront and Convention Center Boulevard, the building, and the expansive Phase IV property, the financial and legal underpinnings of which are supported in HB516 (Leger). This many faceted development of demand generators is intimately connected to and tied in with....
4. A united industry effort filed by the Consortium to create a new vision for an iconic demand generator, world class facility, architectural edifice, landscape or like stunning public use of the current World Trade Center Property in a manner that has huge public and civic buy-in and broad public appeal. (The Wednesday filing by the Tricentennial Consortium to the city's RFP.)
5. The united industry (Consortium) strongly supports an optional hotel assessment (not a tax, not a district, and no relation to last year's bill) to raise new funds for marketing and promotion of New Orleans as a destination for special events, corporate and association meetings, business, and leisure travel, both domestically and internationally. This optional hotel assessment program would go a long way to catching up our destination with our competitors in marketing capacity, and will immediately create hundreds of millions of dollars of impact on our city economy and create thousands of new jobs. This is provided in SB 242 by Murray and Leger.
6. The united industry (Consortium) applauds and supports the Mayor's recent announcement to build a new world class airport. The development of the new facility is the final piece in transforming our hospitality infrastructure and is critical to our brand and world competitiveness.