The Power of Tourism in New Orleans

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (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 in economic growth, tens of thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of taxes for the state and city.


In 2016, visitors to New Orleans spent $7.41 billion dollars, a 5.1% increase compared to the visitor spending record set in 2015, and the city hosted 10.45 million visitors, the highest since 2004 and a 6.9 percent increase compared to 2015.

  • Cumulative 5.1% increase in spending activity was felt in all categories including lodging, entertainment, shopping, and restaurants
  • Overnight visitors to the New Orleans area who stayed in hotels spent an average of $1,033 per person, per trip in 2016
  • Visitors who stayed overnight in a hotel spent an average of $231 per person per day
  • 76.7% of visitors were in New Orleans for vacation/pleasure
  • Cruise visitors comprised 1.7% of the total numbers of visitor responses; of those, 72.7% stayed in New Orleans pre or post cruise

 2016Visitornumber                                                 2016visitorspend 

"The results of last year's survey demonstrate that we are not just continuing the visitation and visitor spending growth we have delivered over the past seven years, but we have now posted historic highs in both categories. These achievements are the result of a strategy that attracts a combination of carefully targeted convention business and leisure travelers through tactics which leverage paid media, earned public relations exposure and special events to market New Orleans to the world. As the state continues to grapple with budget deficits, the New Orleans tourism industry grows ever stronger, adding to our economy much needed jobs and tax revenues,
-Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau


"The New Orleans tourism industry experienced yet another breakthrough year in 2016, this time making history for the number of visitors to our city and visitor spending. This exciting achievement is a testament to our city's unique ability to host tourists and major events like no other. As we approach our tricentennial, I look forward to 2017 being an even bigger year for the tourism industry in New Orleans."
-Mayor Mitch Landrieu

Money Graphic

"Our marketing strategy, aimed at attracting the leisure travelers, continues to provide dividends to our economy. Going into 2017, we continue to work side by side with our industry partners, especially the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, the New Orleans CVB and the Greater New Orleans Hotel & Lodging Association, to reach as many potential visitors as possible with our creative messaging."
-Mark Romig, President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation

"Our analysis of the research results shows that New Orleans over the past several years has dramatically increased the quality of the foundational pillars necessary for a top tourism destination. Potential visitors and repeat visitors have become increasingly aware of the unique and elevated visitor experience that is a result of New Orleans' exquisite restaurants, lavish hotels, sporting events, convention center, varied and numerous festivals, museums, and other attractions. This combination of attributes provides an extremely strong competitive edge as New Orleans sets new benchmarks for tourism visitation and spending."
-Dr. John Williams, Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University of New Orleans

An example of the NOCVB's strategy to attract quality visitors and to continue to grow as an international destination in 2016 include the announcements of two direct flights from Europe to New Orleans beginning in 2017. Condor Airlines will begin a seasonal direct flight from Frankfurt, Germany to New Orleans and British Airways will begin a direct flight from London to New Orleans in 2017. Each of these flights will connect New Orleans to more than 120 destinations in Europe and beyond.

Path of a Tourism Dollar Infographic 2