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"Prospect.3: Notes…

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

2014 Battle of the…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
The Bayou Classic is more than a football game. This annual event is one of the… more

An Evening of…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
Join us for an evening of elegance with Lalah Hathaway, Najee, and Kindred The… more

Andrew Jackson: Hero…

Nov 28, 2014 - Mar 29, 2015
THNOC's exhibition tracks Jackson's rise from humble beginnings to immortality… more

Celebration in the…

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 03, 2015
City Park's annual holiday lighting exhibit and festival returns with one of… more

The Victory Belles…

Nov 28, 2014 - Jun 24, 2015
Noted for their close harmonies and synchronized dance steps, the Andrews… more

The Victory Belles…

Nov 28 - Dec 28, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

ThinkerKids Holiday…

Nov 28 - 28, 2014
Come explore science, technology, art and math with us at ThinkerKids Holiday… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 29 - 29, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

Bayou Classic

Nov 29 - 29, 2014
The 41st Annual Bayou Classic will take place in the Dome on Saturday, November… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 30 - 30, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

"The Victory Belles…

Nov 30 - 30, 2014
Our popular, charming vocal trio is in a holiday mood! Come jingle all the way… more

300 Riderz Horse…

Nov 30 - 30, 2014
Bayou Classic weekend the city of New Orleans will witness its biggest trail… more

Kirk Franklin…

Nov 30 - 30, 2014
Raise the roof Sunday mornings with brunch featuring the explosive energy of… more

Teddy Bear Tea

Nov 30 - Dec 21, 2014
Teddy Bear Tea returns to The Roosevelt, inviting everyone to celebrate the… more

Christmas in the…

Dec 01, 2014 - Jan 01, 2015
Celebrate the season in New Orleans' historic Warehouse District with dazzling… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 1 - 31, 2014
There's no place like New Orleans for the holidays during Christmas New Orleans… more

Christmas New Orleans…

Dec 1 - 18, 2014
Local choirs and New Orleans artists herald in the season with nightly… more

Melissa Etheridge:…

Dec 1 - 1, 2014
Academy Award and GRAMMY winning artist, Melissa Etheridge, will take the… more

"Prospect.3: Notes…

Nov 28, 2014 - Jan 25, 2015
Prospect New Orleans, the International Contemporary Art Biennial,  will… more

VICTORY FOR NEW ORLEANS ECONOMY: SB 242 PASSES HOUSE

  

loho
 May 29, 2013

Dear Friends of New Orleans Tourism,

Moments ago, a tremendous step forward for our industry and our businesses happened at the state capitol - Senate Bill 242 by Sen. Murray, our optional hotel assessment proposal that could increase sales and marketing resources by 70% to the CVB and NOTMC, and one of our cornerstone BCG Master Plan initiatives, was passed by the House of Representatives unamended and is on its way to Governor Jindal for signature into law!  

The culmination of years of work and unprecedented industry partnerships, this legislation will create up to $12 million dollars in new sales and marketing funds to promote New Orleans as a top tier destination for leisure visitors, conventions, meetings, business travel and special events.  It will also establish, for the first time, a much needed, and long overdue, source of dedicated funding for our most important national treasure, the Vieux Carré. In addition to marketing the city for visitors, funds will be dedicated to improve French Quarter infrastructure, public safety, code enforcement, quality of life, and basic needed services.  

We estimate that this new funding will create 5,000 new jobs and generate $500 million in additional economic impact over the next eighteen months. We should see further gains in our destination market share, drive new attendance at every cultural attraction, attract more diners to restaurants, put more musicians to work, produce more customers for shops and artists, and create a better quality of life for New Orleans citizens in every neighborhood.

On behalf of the entire tourism industry, I want to express special gratitude to our hotel community, owners and general managers as they have stepped up for our thousands of businesses and 78,000 employees in a major way.  No other industry sector has made such a visionary, unselfish gesture to assess fees on their own businesses to drive the economy, create jobs and invest in our fragile French Quarter to make it safer and cleaner for all.

We could not have accomplished this victory without Senator Edwin R. Murray, Representative Walt Leger, III, Representative Jared Brossett, Senator J.P.Morrell, Representative Kirk Talbot, Representative Helena Moreno, Representative Austin Badon and the other legislators who have carried the torch for our industry ... for this we will be eternally grateful.

We also profoundly thank Gregory Rusovich, Darryl Berger, Robert Bray, Andy Kopplin, Ron Forman, Stan Harris, Mark Romig, Joe Blanchek, Toni Rice, Michael Smith, Tod Chambers, Mavis Early, Melvin Rodrigue, Steve Pettus, Bob Johnson, Doug Thornton, Harrah's Dan Real, Al Groos, Steve Caputo, Amy Reimer, Jim Cook, Ted Selogie, the entire boards of NOTMC, CVB and GNOHLA, and our incomparable lobbying team led by C.J. Blache.

Overview of SB 242

To give further insight to anyone who might not have been as closely involved in each step along the way, SB 242 is not a tax; it is a voluntary assessment in which hotels have the option of adding the assessment/surcharge to the folio of the hotel guest, as they might a resort fee.  Participation is optional at all times to every hotel. Of course, the New Orleans CVB as a non-profit membership organization can assess fees on its members at any time, without going through the legislature, but we wanted to be extra transparent. This bill also makes sure the assessments are not taxed, thus protecting the consumer. 

Orleans Parish members of GNOHLA will vote in a referendum whether to approve or disapprove the assessment. At least 66% of the eligible member hotels by room complement must vote in the affirmative for the assessment to be adopted. GNOHLA will conduct the referendum. 

The assessment will be capped at 1.75 % of the daily room charge to the guests' folio.  Of this, 1.5 % of the proceeds collected by this voluntary assessment will go to the marketing and sales efforts of the CVB and the  NOTMC. The Multicultural Tourism Network will also share in new revenues.  The remaining .25 % will fund public safety, code enforcement, sanitation, infrastructure repair and other services in the French Quarter.  The specific use of the designated .25 % will be determined in the course of the normal annual budgeting process, carried out by the Mayor and City Council with citizen input. A Cooperative Endeavor Agreement would be developed between the New Orleans CVB and the City of New Orleans outlining the parameters. 

Strategic Master Plan

Never before have we been so close to accomplishing the goals set forth in the Boston Consulting Group's (BCG) 2010 Strategic Master Plan for our industry, which aims to attract 13.7 million visitors, create $11 billion in direct spending and 33,000 additional jobs by 2018.

A Holistic Vision

The assessment is only one piece of the holistic vision that will be implemented over the next five years leading up to the city's 300th birthday in 2018:

EXTENDING OUR GLOBAL REACH - No longer will we have to say that we are dramatically underfunded compared to competitor cities. The additional marketing funds will allow the NOTMC to extend the reach of its brilliant new national leisure campaign "Follow Your NOLA" to larger markets such as New York, Los Angeles, etc.  

The CVB will be able to expand our direct selling with additional positions to grow corporate and incentive business coming to the city. It will allow us to increase our presence in international markets, expand our current marketing and public relations efforts and so much more.

NEW AIRPORT -   Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans Aviation Board recently announced that a new world class airport will be built. The development of the new facility is a critical piece in transforming our hospitality infrastructure and is critical to our brand and world competitiveness. 

NEW CONVENTION CENTER BLVD -   In addition to the stunning new Great Hall that recently opened, a Convention Center vision plan is underway that includes the riverfront and Convention Center Boulevard, the building, and the expansive Phase IV property.

NEW RIVERFRONT - A united industry effort filed by the Tricentennial Consortium will create a new vision for an iconic demand generator, world class facility, architectural edifice, landscape or like stunning public use of the current World Trade Center Property in a manner that has huge public and civic buy-in and broad public appeal.

NEW CONVENTION SALES STRATEGY - Earlier this month, the CVB announced the appointment of Brad Weaber, CMP, a 25-year meeting industry veteran, who has served as executive vice president of both SmithBucklin and Experient, to a new CVB leadership position of executive vice president. Brad is charged with creating a new, enhanced strategic direction for New Orleans as a convention destination, re-engineering and enhancing the production and the value of the CVB and the way we service customers in todays' rapidly changing meeting environment.

NEW NATIONAL TEMPLATE - The hotel assessment funding mechanism is an innovative new generation example of public-private partnerships that drive job creation and business growth.  It puts New Orleans on a platform as a destination as we are setting an example for other cities around the country. Our new assessment will likely become a national best practice. 

It also reinforces the role of the CVB as more than a nationally accredited destination marketing organization. We are a comprehensive trade organization representing New Orleans' entire cultural and traveler economy. We are fierce advocates for our members, our partners, our customers and local residents. We are stewards of our cultural economy and protectors of our historic neighborhoods. Please click here for the CVB's annual report for 2012, our 52nd year of driving New Orleans' economy and creating jobs through tourism, business travel, conventions meetings, festivals and special events.

It is an exciting day for us all.  Congratulations and thank you for all that you do to make New Orleans a top destination year after year. The best is yet to come. 

Sincerely,

Sincerely,
Stephen Perry
President & CEO
New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau