NEW ORLEANS (AP) — An executive with the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau has some advice for leaders in the city's tourism business: "Start learning Chinese."
Kim Priez said a big push to draw travelers from around the world, including an emphasis on China, is part of the New Orleans CVB's 2014 marketing strategy. The 70-page plan was released Wednesday morning during a meeting at a downtown New Orleans hotel.
Plans outlined by the organization's CEO, Stephen Perry, and others aim at improving on an already-flourishing tourism industry in New Orleans by increasing visits during slower seasons, such as mid-summer, and boosting mid-week tourism business. The industry is the area's largest employer, with more than 70,000 hospitality-related jobs. Last spring's annual CVB assessment said that in 2012 the city drew 9 million who spent $6 billion.
Priez said New Orleans already does a good job of seeking European tourists.
"We are one of the leading mid-sized cities in America that goes after that European business because of our heritage," she said. "But we are missing the mark on a lot of other markets that are really making a monetary difference on the West Coast, the East Coast."