New Orleans Tourism Chief Discusses New Strategy for Attracting Visitors
Mark Romig, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the city's leisure travel-promotion agency, spoke to the RPC Board in March about his organization's new approach to selling the city to visitors.
New Orleans has much more to offer than Bourbon Street, Romig said. "We need to be marketing what's found elsewhere in the city." To that end, the NOTMC has created a new website, followyournola.com, and online and TV ads that promote the architecture, food, music and people found outside of the French Quarter. The agency is marketing specifically to a group Romig dubbed "the experiential discoverers," those he described as drawn to the city in pursuit of authentic experiences unique to New Orleans.
Romig touted the economic value of tourism to the region. Visitors to New Orleans spent $6 billion in 2012, he said, adding that the New Orleans tourism industry is responsible for 78,000 jobs.
Although areas outside New Orleans are not presently included in the NOTMC's campaign, Romig said subsequent iterations of the website and other initiatives could promote activities and attractions beyond the city limits. "We look at New Orleans as the base camp of a visitor to this part of the state," he said.
New Orleans hosts roughly 9 million visitors annually, Romig said. Tourism numbers for
2013 had not yet been released at the time of his presentation, but Romig said the city is
on pace to record the highest visitation
NOTMC's website followyournola.com is one component of the organization's new tourist-attraction