NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -
New Orleans #1 in U.S in growing its share of International Visitors
Thousands flocked to the City of New Orleans for the weekend festivals which included the annual Satchmo Summer Festival. Malcolm Bishop was one of those visitors from New Zealand. "I've wanted to come to this city for a long time . I just did six weeks of work in Portland Oregon. This is my holiday on the way home. I have three weeks here." said Bishop.
The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau said it just received good news on how well the city is doing in its effort to increase its share of international visitors compared to other U-S cities.
The City's Convention and Visitor's Bureau official says
from 2014- to 2015 the Federal Commerce Department says New Orleans increased its share of international visitors more than any other U.S City.
While other cities may host more International visitors than New Orleans in terms of volume, the officials say New Orleans grew its share of visitors from around the world by 37% in 2014-2015 , that's faster than any other U.S. City for that time period.
"To put that in perspective New York City grew their share of International visitors by 2% at the same time we grew by 37%," said Kristian Sonnier, the V.P of Communications for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.
" We know that international visitors stay longer and spend more money; and they are looking for an authentic U-S
experience and we offer that in spades," said Sonnier.
Tourism officials credit a variety of strategies for their success in this growth; they range from hosting travel writers in the city who then write great stories about the city. They also credit the increase in non- stop flights and more Cruise Line vacation options.
They're also hoping to snag next year's NBA All - Star Weekend Game. The NBA recently announced its moving its event from Charlotte because it objects to a state law that limits protections for the L.G.B.T Community. New Orleans and the State of Louisiana are now lobbying with the hopes of convincing the NBA to select New Orleans as the new city to host it.
" When host an event like that its broadcast globally and everyone recognizes New Orleans, " said Sonnier.
If the city were to get the event that would be lagniappe on what Tourism officials says has been a good summer so far in terms of visitors.