Sep 28, 2011 at 02:29 PM
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This City Has A Fresh $10 Million Tourism Budget To Spend in '12!

Fueled in part by a $3.8 million cash infusion from BP, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. voted yesterday to spend almost $10 million in 2012 to market New Orleans to visitors around the country. Part of the funds will be allotted to special events, such as Christmas New Orleans Style and the Essence Music Festival. $600,000 and $257,000 have already been earmarked for those events, according to the report from Following up on its 2010 marketing strategy, look for events in "drive-in" cities to also get a sponsorship look.

New Orleans is not the first tourism board to expand its marketing budget following the oil spill. Alabama's Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism in July became an official corporate sponsor of the Southeastern Conference thanks to a cash infusion from BP.

The demographic profile New Orleans is looking to court is slightly different than that of Alabama's coastline. Namely young, upscale, traveling foodies. Specifically...

  • - Young adults
  • - Ages 25 to 50
  • - Travelers seeking authentic experiences and those interested in food, music and culture.
  • - $55,000+ HHI

    Spending will also be aimed at lifting leisure travel to the city during slow months such as January and February. In 2010, New Orleans spent $13 million on marketing, which included $7 million devoted to an ad campaign targeting drive-in markets such as Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Memphis and Chicago.

    New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. President Mark Romig expects the 2012 campaign to produce 75,000 new visitors to New Orleans, pumping an additional $65 million into the local economy according to estimates. As more tourism boards consider event sponsorship in other cities as a viable means to pull tourism back to their own locale, if you're a food festival you might be wise to add Romig to your rolodex.

    Related: Saints court Mercedes-Benz for Superdome naming rights

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