New Orleans' summer tourism campaign goes coast-to-coast
Don Ames Reporting
The City of New Orleans has kicked off its annual spring and summer marketing campaign.
Mark Romig, president of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, says they've begun the national campaign a couple of weeks early this year.
"Which we believe will help develop the decision-making process in a much more expedient way, as families start making their plans for the summer travel."
The $4.5 million "Follow Your NOLA" campaign has also been expanded to hit more cities across the country than last year, including 10 cities at flying distance.
"Markets where there is non-stop service flying into the city of New Orleans," says Romig. "Where we have a good core group of visitors who have shown interest in the city."
"For the first time, we're going to be on the West Coast," Romig says. "We'll be in San Francisco. We're also going to be in Chicago and, of course, the East Coast market of Baltimore is very important to us."
Austin, Boston, Cincinnati, Nashville, Kansas City and St. Louis have also been chosen for TV ads based traveler interest from those locations.
"And, then the other good markets that feed into New Orleans such as Atlanta, Dallas...Memphis is always a strong market...Charlotte, North Carolina."
Drive markets include Baton Rouge, Monroe, Lafayette, and Shreveport, Louisiana; Columbus, MS; Houston, TX; Memphis, TN; Mobile and Montgomery, AL; and Pensacola, FL.
In all, 210 markets will be exposed to the campaign, which includes fifteen- and thirty-second ads featuring the voice of New Orleans actor John Goodman, as well as the soundtrack of Professor Longhair's song, "Big Chief."
For the first time, the marketing agency will be partnering with The Walt Disney Company and ABC-TV to create promotional materials aimed at families with scenes from the New Orleans-set animated film, "The Princess and the Frog."
"And we'll be utilizing 'The Princess and the Frog' to develop a New Orleans adventure through the eyes of Princess Tiana," says Romig.
"We're just working, 24/7, to ensure that, when a traveler makes a decision to come to a city or a destination, that they're choosing New Orleans."
New Orleans drew 9.28 million visitors in 2013, slightly better than 2012...the second-highest tourist count on record. Spending by those visitors in 2013 was an all-time high of $6.47 billion.