New Orleans Targets Mexico for TouristsJuly 23, 2008 By: George Dooley
For the second year in a row, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (New Orleans CVB) officials are journeying to Mexico to promote New Orleans as a leading destination for international travel. The goal: to encourage more Mexican visitors to explore the Crescent City.
“Mexico is the second producer of inbound travelers to the United States after Canada, and New Orleans has been a favorite destination among Mexican travelers over decades,” said the CVB’s international representative, Marco Aguilar.
“With world-class attractions, unique restaurants, amazing nightlife and, of course, tax-free shopping, New Orleans and Louisiana provide the experience most Mexicans are seeking. New Orleans and the Mexican market are a perfect match, so we must continue to put our wonderful destination in the eyes of the Mexican traveler.”
Joining Aguilar are Kim Priez, vice president of tourism, and Martha Martinez, international sales manager from the New Orleans CVB. They are currently visiting Monterrey and Mexico City.
This year, the New Orleans CVB will host two customer events and nearly 20 sales calls with tour operators, wholesalers, incentive houses and media to tout New Orleans as a vibrant and exciting travel destination. The trip to Mexico is one component of the New Orleans CVB’s international tourism outreach, which also includes sales and public relations in France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Asia-Pacific.
In 2007, New Orleans hosted 7.1 million visitors, a 92 percent increase over 2006. During this time, according to the state’s Tax Free Shopping Report, Mexico was ranked second on a list of international countries that frequently visit New Orleans. Tourism officials hope that reaching out to Mexican travel officials will spur visitor numbers back to 2004 visitor levels.