The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation is about to launch a new ad campaign designed to boost summer travel to the city.
The $4 million campaign is aimed at travelers who want to do their own thing on vacation.
"Our research shows that people like to see different experiences," says tourism corporation president Mark Romig. "They want a sense of adventure and discovery. And they want to be given an opportunity to look at a number of ways to explore the city."
To that end, Romig says they've designed a website that will allow travelers to design their stay around their particular interests, be they food, music or festival fun.
The 'Follow Your NOLA' website features ways to 'Follow Your Flavor,' 'Follow Your Rhythm,' or 'Follow Your Fun' at special area events.
"This website will re-introduce all aspects of New Orleans to the visitor, to really understand that New Orleans is the most dynamic, authentic and unique destination in the nation."
And, Romig says, the campaign will showcase the city as a whole, not just downtown and iconic attractions like the French Quarter, "but the neighborhoods that have grown in visitation, such as Bywater and Magazine Street and Mid-City."
"We know that there's so much more to offer. We have a wonderful zoo. We have a tremendous, beautiful redeveloped City Park. The National World War II Museum, the leading museum of its kind in the nation. We have a beautiful lakefront."
"We're inviting people to come experience New Orleans at their own pace and with their own interests...to come into the city and discover the city like a local enjoys the city," says Romig.
He says ads will run on network and cable television programs in ten key cities that service New Orleans with direct flights...Atlanta, Baltimore, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Nashville, Milwaukee and Tampa.
Online advertising will also be used in regional markets within driving distance.
The campaign kicks off next month.
"We're going to go in very heavy at the beginning of May and try to impact as much summer travel to the city as possible," Romig says. "And, then, we'll continue this, online, throughout the year. But, we'll be up in television markets for three months, beginning in May."
The summer months are, traditionally, the slowest months for tourism in New Orleans.