New Orleans hopes to benefit from same-sex wedding industry
Don Ames Reporting
Although same sex couples can't get married here, New Orleans is about to promote itself as a great place for them celebrate their nuptials.
The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation is launching an ad campaign to promote lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender honeymoons in the city.
President Mark Romig says it's not really anything new.
"The LGBT market has always been a part of our annual marketing campaign. We reach out to a market of travelers who have historically enjoyed New Orleans and, particularly this summer, we'll be reaching out in many ways."
One of the ways will be to give away a honeymoon package on the Convention and Visitors Bureau's Facebook page. That will allow them to target their advertising by gender, sexual orientation, and relationship status to their intended audience.
"The target will be into the 13 states that have granted equality of marriage," says Romig. "And, so, it should be a really tremendous way to express that New Orleans is a hospitable city and a fun city to celebrate such a special occasion."
"We just think that, particularly now in this day and age, that it's important that we also let the LGBT market know that New Orleans is a welcoming city and they can come here and celebrate and enjoy themselves like any other American."
The campaign follows the recent Supreme Court ruling against a section of the Defense of Marriage Act.
How does Romig expect the action to be accepted, locally?
"We approach this like we would with any consumer, that New Orleans is a great city to visit," he says. "And, whether you're celebrating a honeymoon or a reunion with family and friends...we think it's equal, across the board, for people to come to the city of New Orleans and help us support a great industry. We keep about 78,000 people employed in the hospitality industry and we think it's the right thing to do."
"The city, historically, has been a very hospitable city. And, again, we're supporting some really good jobs here by welcoming all men and women to New Orleans. And, so we're looking forward to this being received in a very positive way."
The honeymoon package giveaway promotion will run through the annual six-day Southern Decadence event held in New Orleans by the LGBT community in September.