FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kelly Schulz/Jennifer Day
New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
Smith Travel Research
615-824-8664 ext. 3305
New Orleans Ranks First in Growth Among Top 25 U.S. Destinations in Hotel Performance for January – May 2010
According to Smith Travel Research, New Orleans posts highest RevPar change in nation
NEW ORLEANS – June 21, 2010 - New Orleans ranked first in growth out of the Top 25 U.S. markets for January – May 2010, ahead of popular destinations such as New York, Boston and Chicago. According to May year-to-date data from Smith Travel Research (STR), the organization that measures and reports on hotel performance nationally and internationally, New Orleans posted a 15 percent increase in RevPar over the same period in 2009. (RevPar is a standard industry measure of hotel occupancy multiplied by average daily rate.)
The STR rankings illustrate the momentum gained as a result of a hard-fought image battle led by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. It has taken five years and an unprecedented level of marketing and commitment by our hotels and the entire hospitality community to build the momentum the city is currently experiencing. Additionally, the Saints’ run to their Super Bowl victory provided new positive imagery of the city that contributed to a boost to the tourism industry.
Tourism is big business in New Orleans. It is a $5 billion industry, the largest employer and generates one-third of the city’s operating budget. The city has experienced a record-breaking spring festival season, hosted prominent corporate and association meetings and welcomed leisure travelers from around the world.
The positive momentum achieved by New Orleans’ tourism industry comes as the oil crisis is unfolding 100 miles away along the Gulf Coast.
According to Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans CVB, “Despite the environmental disaster in the Gulf, consumers have clearly re-discovered New Orleans as one of the hottest destinations in America. While we are proud of our number one status, we must acquire new resources to aggressively market New Orleans to potential travelers. Our positive momentum so far underscores the importance of the $75 million request for tourism marketing submitted by Mayor Landrieu and our industry to BP. This preemptive strategy, led by the Mayor and the CVB, will protect the New Orleans economy and mitigate future potential losses to the image-driven tourism industry.”
There are presently no significant cancellations of convention bookings directly related to the oil disaster. However, there is no way to calculate the number of leisure visitors or convention organizers who may select destinations that are perceived to be less risky than New Orleans.
STR provides clients—including hotel operators, developers, financiers, analysts and suppliers to the hotel industry—access to hotel research with regular and custom reports covering North America, Mexico and Caribbean. STR provides a single source of global hotel data covering daily and monthly performance data, forecasts, annual profitability, pipeline and census information. STR founded the STR family of companies and is proudly associated with STR Global, RRC Associates, STR Analytics, and HotelNewsNow.com. For more information, please visit www.str.com.
The New Orleans CVB is the driving catalyst for New Orleans’ largest industry, strategically leading national and international marketing, public relations and visitor services efforts that attract millions of visitors, events, conventions and festivals that produce billions of dollars of economic growth, tens of thousands of jobs, and hundreds of millions of taxes for the state and city. Recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the United States, the New Orleans CVB is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2010. For more information, please visit www.neworleanscvb.com.
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