NOLA offers neighboring parishes travel incentivesJul 27th, 2011 | By William Dilella | Category: community
Travel business has taken a hit over the last few years. The standard summer vacation was downgraded vastly for the American public from discovering the country and opening ourselves up to broader horizons, to mulling about the local beach for a few hours and grabbing a pizza on the way back. We went from “On the Road” to “Dinner and a Movie.” Such is the manner with summer 2011.
The U.S. Travel Association and Louisiana Tourism have pointed to the negative perceptions held by the public as one source, but according to the Travel Association this downgrade has been a long time coming.
“By failing to keep pace with the growth in global long-haul international travel between 2000 and 2010, the United States lost the opportunity to welcome 78 million more visitors and generate $606 billion in direct and downstream spending—enough to support more than 467,000 additional U.S. jobs annually over these years,” said a statement issued by U.S. Travel Association President Roger Dow.
The statement followed reports in April 2011 that travelers cited affordability as the main reason for the decline of travel within the U.S. Basically, plane fare got pricy, so we drove to closer spots. Then, the price of gas shot up, so we just stayed home.
Louisiana is a state that has taken its own hits in the tourism department for other negative perceptions over the past decade as well, and with even more damage. Unfortunate, since the greater New Orleans area relies heavily on travel and tourism for a large portion of the economy.
“In light of the oil spill, Louisiana Office of Tourism is reminding the world of Louisiana’s unique culture, phenomenal seafood, rich musical history and pristine outdoors,” reads the Office of Tourism website. “While parts of the state have been affected, the majority of Louisiana remains an ideal travel destination for amazing experiences. Each year, the state hosts 24.1 million visitors. These visitors create a $9.4 billion tourism industry and sustain more than 200,000 direct and indirect jobs.”
To combat the negative perceptions and the cost of travel during a time when many Louisiana natives are saving whatever they can—usually at the cost of vacations and sanity—the New Orleans Hotel Collective is appealing to locals, as well as international, travelers with special deals on stays and attractions to support local business and provide Louisiana residents with a much deserved break from a normal day in the area.
To further entice locals into the opportunity of being a tourist in their own home state, the New Orleans Hotel Collection is offering special room and tour packages, for the Louisiana ventures that some locals often neglect—like the river boat rides or national park visits—or even rewarding patrons for staying longer—like four nights at the price of three. Deals are updated regularly for the collection at the website www.neworleanshotelcollection.com/hotel-offers, where anyone can sign up for automatic notification for deals too, like the $29 gas credit for those staying at least two nights.
Several of the hotels in the collection—such as the French Quarter’s ballroom converted to hotel known as the Bourbon Orleans—are undergoing the latest in a set of substantial renovations, to accommodate travelers from any distance with upgraded service.
Rooms will contain amenities like 42 inch LCD TV’s, updated bathrooms and fixtures, and refinishing of the two story suites, with their own balconies overlooking Bourbon Street, Jackson Square and the rear of St. Louis Cathedral where a likeness of Christ casts the silhouette affectionately referred to as “Touchdown Jesus.”
One of the highlights in the coming weeks—worthy of the trip across the bridge—is the 2011 Red Dress Run charity event, held this year on August 13, which will draw substantial crowds to the French Quarter. Many decide to turn the festivity into a long weekend, with one of the hotels as a base camp, or at least a parking spot (after driving over, finding a spot, walking the streets of the Vieux Carre, it might be worth just over a hundred a night to find a bed down the block instead of back home). Last year, the Red Dress Run drew in over $200,000 for 50 area non-profits, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
For those planning a vacation a bit further down the line, the Hotel Collection is planning ahead for Christmas in New Orleans deals, for Papa Noel room rates to get locals to enjoy Christmas and New Years in one of the most highly televised parties on the globe.