New Orleans Reports on Tourism Recovery Progress

On April 12 in New York City, the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB) kicked off a 10-city international tour to spread the word about the city's renaissance. "We're really bullish on the future," said Stephen Perry, NOMCVB's president and CEO, who then gave reasons why.  A classic New Orleans streetcar sits outside the Times Square studios of Good Morning America to promote tourism

This March, New Orleans welcomed 83,000 convention visitors, 10,000 more than in March 2005, showing that the all-important convention market is not only making its way back to pre-Katrina levels but in some cases surpassing it. "We've had more renovations—from the convention center to hotels, restaurants and even streets," Perry said, explaining that since February there has been a new sanitation service on

Bourbon Street
, leaving it constantly cleaner than any local could remember.

"The city is almost sold out right now for almost two solid weeks for Jazz Fest," he continued. "Homes are starting to be rebuilt, the economy is booming; the state's got the biggest surplus in history right now," he reported.

And to really get to a New Yorker's heart, Perry spoke of what the two cities have in common. "There are not many real, authentic places left—there's not much doubt where you are when you walk out the door in New York or New Orleans," he said.

To draw attention to the city, the NOMCVB sprung a classic streetcar that ran on the Desire line (yes, a real streetcar named Desire) from a museum in Connecticut and positioned it in Times Square in front of the Good Morning America studios. The streetcar was to travel with them to Chicago, but not to other cities on this tour such as London, Paris and Dallas.