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2015 Battle of the…

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The Bayou Classic is more than a football game. This annual event is one of the… more

America, Illustrated:…

Nov 27, 2015 - Jan 05, 2016
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Nov 27, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

David Hansen's Garden…

Nov 27, 2015
Since 2006, Hansen's Garden District Jazz Trio has performed every night at… more

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Nov 27 - 27, 2015
Swipe Right and come and play in the Lounge at Foundation Room. DJ Raj Smoove… more

Florida Room: Jessica…

Nov 27 - 29, 2015
The Foundation Gallery is excited to present Florida Room by Jessica Bizer … more

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Nov 27 - 27, 2015
Every Friday evening, come to the museum for activities and entertainment from… more

Jasper Johns:…

Nov 27, 2015 - Jan 31, 2016
Prints from the Donna Perret Rosen and Benjamin M. Rosen Collection: Jasper… more

Newcomb Art Museum of…

Nov 27, 2015 - Jan 03, 2016
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Patriot, Planter,…

Nov 27, 2015 - Mar 20, 2016
NOMA will present the first exhibition to focus on the works of Pierre-Joseph… more

Sixty Minute Sip Down

Nov 27 - 27, 2015
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The Historic New…

Nov 27, 2015 - Jan 09, 2016
The Historic New Orleans Collection marks the 10th anniversary of Hurricane… more

The Photography of…

Nov 27, 2015 - Mar 01, 2016
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine: The Exhibition, a collection of over 50… more

Tim Youd: 100 Novels

Nov 27, 2015 - Feb 21, 2016
Los Angeles-based contemporary artist Tim Youd will visit NOMA to perform the… more


Nov 27, 2015 - Jan 10, 2016
This exhibition features work by the Japanese artist Bidou Yamaquchi. Trained… more

Visions of US:…

Nov 27, 2015 - Jan 24, 2016
Visions of US explores evolving ideas about American cultural identity from the… more

Art on the Spot

Nov 28 - 28, 2015

Ashe Cultural Arts…

Nov 28 - Dec 31, 2015
Join us for Ashe to Amen: the Enduring Spirituality of People of African… more

Bayou Classic

Nov 28 - 28, 2015
The 42nd Annual Bayou Classic will take place in the Dome on Saturday, November… more

2015 Battle of the…

Nov 27 - 27, 2015
The Bayou Classic is more than a football game. This annual event is one of the… more

New Orleans Achieves 8.75 Million Visitors in 2011

Media Contacts:
Kelly Schulz                   Lea Sinclair                           Janet Speyrer        John A. Williams
NOCVB                           NOTMC                                 UNO                   UNO
504-566-5019              504-826-9710                   504-280-6981        504-280-6954  


New Orleans Achieves 8.75 Million Visitors in 2011
Visitors spent a record-breaking $5.47 billion; tourism industry aims to reach 13 million visitors by 2018

NEW ORLEANS - (March 26, 2012) - New Orleans' tourism industry welcomed 8.75 million visitors in 2011, an increase of 5.6%, or 462,263 from the number of visitors in 2010 (8.3 million). Those 8.75 million visitors spent $5.47 billion, a $180 million increase over 2010 and the highest spending in the city's history, according to a study released today. Tourism in New Orleans is an important economic engine, employing 74,000 people and generating spending that represents roughly half of the tourism spending for the entire state of Louisiana.

"These results are a reflection of the hard work of all those in the hospitality industry and a testament to the continued resilience of our great city," said Mayor Landrieu. "Our city's reputation as a top destination only continues to grow, as evidenced by the unprecedented run of special events we continue to host as we continue to work toward the goal of welcoming 13 million visitors in the year 2018."

The 2011 results come as New Orleans kicks off the 2012 spring festival season and is in the midst of hosting an unprecedented series of high profile events such as Navy Week, the NCAA Final Four and SEC Championship, all leading up to the Super Bowl next year.

All key indicators increased in 2011, compared to 2010:

  • Overnight visitors grew by 337,000
  • Hotel visitors grew by 75,000
  • Lodging spending increased by $29.6 million
  • The number of visitors visiting friends and relatives increased by 251,000
  • The number of visitors who came in just for the day increased by 125,000
  • 76.5 % of visitors surveyed were in New Orleans for vacation/pleasure
  • 23.5 % of visitors surveyed were in New Orleans for a convention, association, trade show, corporate meeting or general business travel
  • 58.6 % of business travelers extended their stay for pleasure for an average of 2.1 days
  • Cruise visitors comprised about 1.3 % of the total number of visitor responses
  • Restaurant spending increased by $67.3 million (4.3%) and entertainment/recreation increased by $65.1 million (11.0%)

The 2011 New Orleans Area Visitor Profile report also found:

  • 75.7% of visitors had an income $50,000 or more and over 35.8% having $100,000 or more
  • 40.6 % of New Orleans visitors were in town for the first time; 59.4 % are repeat visitors
  • Overnight visitation from top feeder markets outside of Louisiana were: Texas, California, Florida and New York
  • Visitors age 50-64 made up the largest demographic for 2011 visitors (37.8 %), followed by 35-49 (29.2 %), 25-34 (18.4 %), 65 and older (9.1 %) and 18-24 (5.4 %)
  • Overnight visitor stays in New Orleans went from 4.1 in 2010 to an average of 4.2 nights in 2011.
  • The proportion of overnight visitors staying in a hotel was 57.7 %
  • Average party size was 2.9 people
  • The majority of visitors who stayed in a hotel made reservations through the hotel website (31.1 %), or a travel website (22.1 %). 16.7 % of visitors called their hotel directly, while 8.4 % used association housing during their stay in New Orleans.
  • The majority of New Orleans area visitors surveyed arrived by airplane (50.5 %) or in their personal vehicle (44.1 %)

"Reaching a record-breaking $5.47 billion dollars of visitor spending in 2011 proves that the visitor demand for New Orleans and their impact on our economy is on a steady growth trajectory," said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. "Yet tourism does not just happen on its own. It is fueled by marketing, public relations and aggressive sales strategies. In order to reach our goal of 13.7 million visitors and $11 billion dollars by 2018, the hospitality industry is seeking to raise its own additional funding for marketing.  Tourism funding is a tremendous investment in job creation, the expansion of our cultural economy, the restoration of our core infrastructure, and new tax revenue generation that benefits every citizen in every neighborhood in New Orleans."

Mark Romig, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation added, "These results continue to demonstrate that New Orleans is seen by  visitors as an authentic and unique travel destination, offering the widest variety of attractions, restaurants and hotels, fitting all budgets and interests. Our advertising and marketing plan for 2012 will build on these positive survey results as we continue to target both regional markets throughout Louisiana and neighboring states and key national markets such as the West Coast, Midwest and Northeast."

John Williams, Interim Dean of the School of Business at the University of New Orleans commented, " New Orleans has become a dining mecca, as noted by Travel & Leisure's November, 2011 issue declaring us #1 in fine dining, #1 in Café's, and #3 in ethnic food.  Supporting these rankings, 85.5% of visitors have a casual dining experience and 42.3% a fine dining experience when visiting New Orleans.  Visitors to New Orleans place a high importance on food and our study shows that we consistently exceed their expectations."

The University of New Orleans Hospitality Research Center is a collaborative effort of the University of New Orleans' Division of Business and Economic Research (DBER) and the Lester E. Kabacoff School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration (HRT). Its function is to provide a variety of research services to hospitality, travel and tourism organizations. The HRC has been producing reports similar to this visitor study since 1997.

The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation is the City of New Orleans' official leisure travel promotion agency created to foster jobs and economic growth by developing the tourism industry in New Orleans. NOTMC is publicly funded and provides year-round online marketing, advertising, public relations and special event programming in order to support the growth of leisure travel to New Orleans.

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nationally accredited, 1,000-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and four foreign countries. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrated its 51st anniversary in 2011. For more information, please visit