Eager to brush off the damning stigma of ruin that Hurricane Katrina brought to New Orleans, the city’s tourism officials are urging visitors back once again.
Pre-Katrina, New Orleans was one of most intriguing tourist destinations in the US offering its own unique blend of different cultures, music and attractions.
But the return of high-profile events such as the Mardi Gras celebrations, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the NBA all-star game are set to return the city to its former prominence as a luxury holiday destination.
According to a spokesperson for the Tourism Marketing Corp, Lea Sinclair, officials feel as if they have turned their fortunes around.
She told the Houston Chronicle: “One of the biggest things we’re seeing now is, making sure people understand that it’s OK to come and visit and have fun, because you’re helping the people who are still struggling.”
Officials have invested $5.7 million in a tourist campaign to entitled Come Out and Play in a bid to build on the consecutive increases in tourist figures since 2006.
In 2007 alone, the number of visitors almost doubled to 7.1 million compared to the previous year. This rise will no doubt encourage luxury hotel developers considering investing in the city.