The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau has been re-branded and is now officially known as New Orleans & Company. For 58 years the NOCVB has been one of the largest drivers of the New Orleans economy, and over those six decades has produced millions of jobs, billions of dollars of city revenue, and sustained the creation of thousands of small businesses. The former CVB served thousands of member and industry companies and a large workforce. It led the development of the city’s multi-billion dollar convention and meetings business, grew the visitation of leisure visitors to unprecedented levels and played a key role in New Orleans’ ascendance as the world’s greatest sports championship destination.
New Orleans & Company is set to focus in its new iteration not only on growing the city’s cultural economy and hospitality enterprises, driving dynamic, sustainable business growth and career-oriented job creation, but will also focus on continuing its evolution as a thought leader, collaborative convener, and partner to the area’s workforce, local government and citizens.
Stephen Perry, president & CEO of New Orleans & Company, has much to say about the name change and the organizations goals:
“We believe that our culture is our greatest strength and that the people of New Orleans create that culture,” says Perry. “As New Orleans & Company, we are committed to our core mission of ensuring that we are a catalytic force for our industry and drive business growth for thousands of small business owners and significant business enterprises. But, we also have a new mission of connecting with the broader economy, partnering with government on finding solutions to move our city forward, and improving the lives of all of our workforce and all residents in every neighborhood of our city. We are committed to nourishing and sustaining the culture that attracts millions of visitors each year and in doing so improving the quality of life for all of us who call New Orleans home.
“Our new name embodies the inclusiveness we value, with ‘Company’ representing our many members and partners, the more than 100,000 employees directly employed in the tourism industry in New Orleans, the culture-bearers and creators who shape and carry on our traditions, and, of course, the visitors we welcome as our guests. The culture of hospitality, organic in every neighborhood, shapes who we are and how the world sees us.
“Our company continually works to build and sustain networks and connections with our external partners that benefit our city’s residents and our industry’s stakeholders. We hold monthly job fairs in venues across the city to connect those seeking employment with career opportunities. We also seek out and foster workforce development initiatives, and countless other school-based programs. These are just a few examples of our outreach efforts that will continue, among other initiatives, to help provide more paths to prosperity within our community.
“Our goal is to cultivate and maintain what we call a ‘virtuous cycle’ between the businesses and attractions that make up the tourism industry, the visitors who invest in those business and attractions, and the city’s residents, all of whom benefit from tourism and our proudly large contributions to city revenue.
“Tourism revenues generate 43 percent of the city’s operating budget though sales tax and property tax, not even counting the taxes paid by our tens of thousands of employees as their indirect spending ripples through every facet of the community. The ultimate result of this cycle is a quality of life for New Orleans’ residents funded by millions of visitors from around the globe who come to spend billions of dollars as they love, enjoy and share our culture. The money they spend is reinvested in the cultural ecology of our city, completing the cycle. Because of our 17 million visitors and their billions of dollars brought in each year, this small city of 375,000 people has the cultural assets, restaurants, museums, nightlife and overall quality of life of a city many, many times our size.
“As we promote New Orleans to the world and the city’s offerings evolve, we will continue to support New Orleans’ culture by providing more good jobs and career opportunities than any other industry in the region and by generating revenues to fuel a vibrant economy in which all residents can find a path to prosperity,” he concludes.
The launch of New Orleans & Company also includes the recent launch of a new New Orleans cultural economy and tourism website, www.neworleans.com. The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation recently combined resources with New Orleans & Company to collapse both of their respective websites into one website. This is one example of how New Orleans’ tourism industry is working more closely together than ever before to continue to evolve and maintain the promotion of New Orleans and fuel the communitiy’s economy.
“New Orleans is the most authentic city in the world because of our unique culture,” says Gregory Rusovich, CEO of Transoceanic Development and 2018 chairman of the board for New Orleans & Company. “That’s the reason why millions visit each year. It is our responsibility to make sure that our industry continues to attract visitors and their spending continues to add to our economy. Preserving and nourishing our culture is critical to our economy’s growth and our quality of life as New Orleanians. At New Orleans & Company, we are dedicated to ensuring that our local culture-bearers remain an essential part of the hospitality and tourism industry, because without these residents, the city loses its soul.”
New Orleans & Company is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. New Orleans & Company and its members and partners influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding, visitor services and local advocacy initiatives at their New Orleans headquarters and offices in Chicago, Columbia, S.C., Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil and China. Consistently recognized as one of the top five destination marketing organizations in the country, New Orleans & Company celebrates its 58th anniversary in 2018. For more info, visit neworleans.com.