Monday, April 18, 2011

New Orleans Achieves Major Tourism Milestone: 8.3 Million Visitors in 2010 Spent 5.3 Billion Dollars, The Most Visitor Spending in City History

The Solomon Victory Theater at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Image: www.nationalww2museum.org

Survey reveals visitors to New Orleans top 8 million mark for first time since Katrina, creating an economic boost for all of Louisiana



NEW ORLEANS, USA /PRNewswire/ -- New Orleans' tourism industry has achieved a major milestone, welcoming 8.3 million visitors in 2010, a 10.7 percent increase over 2009, and the first time to reach 8 million visitors since Katrina. Those 8.3 million visitors spent $5.3 billion, a $1.1 billion increase over 2009 and the highest spending in the city's history, according to the 2010 New Orleans Area Visitor Profile survey conducted by the University of New Orleans (UNO) Hospitality Research Center for New Orleans destination marketing partners.


Key findings include:

  • Visitation increased by 800,000 (10.7  percent) from 7.5 million people in 2009 to 8.3 million in 2010
  • Visitor expenditures increased by $1.1 billion (23.6 percent) in 2009 to $5.3 billion  in 2010
  • Vacation/pleasure visitors spent an average of $569 per trip or $142 per day
  • 77.7 percent of visitors surveyed were in New Orleans for vacation/pleasure
  • 22.3 percent of visitors surveyed were in New Orleans for a convention, association, trade show, corporate meeting or general business travel
  • 47.9 percent of business travelers extended their stay for pleasure for an average of 2.1 days
  • The number of visitors age 25-34, a demographic New Orleans began targeting more aggressively in 2010, saw an increase from 15.4 percent in 2009 to 18.4 percent in 2010


Tourism is New Orleans' most important economic engine, employing 70,000 people and pumping $5 billion in new capital into the city each year, more than any other business sector. Domestic and international visitors spent $9.3 billion in the state of Louisiana in 2010.

Stephen Perry, president and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau said, "For the New Orleans hospitality industry and all of its private and public partners, it is energizing to see such strong results. The addition of 800,000 visitors gives the city tremendous momentum that we want to keep growing in the coming years. For every one dollar invested in marketing and promotion of Louisiana, $17 is returned to the state." 


The 2010 New Orleans Area Visitor Profile report also found:

  • 76.1 percent of visitors had an income over $50,000 with 35.2 percent over $100,000
  • 39.1 percent of New Orleans visitors were in town for the first time; repeat visitation increased from 58.4 percent in 2009 to 60.9 percent in 2010
  • Visitation from top feeder markets outside of Louisiana were: Texas, California, Florida, Mississippi and New York
  • Visitors age 50-64 made up the largest demographic for 2010 visitors (35.4 percent) followed by 35-49 (32.2 percent), 25-34 (18.4 percent) and 18-24 (5.2 percent ) and 65 and older (8 percent)
  • Overnight visitor stays in New Orleans went from 4.3 in 2009 to an average of 4.1 nights in 2010
  • The proportion of overnight visitors staying in a hotel remained steady at 57.7 percent.
  • Average party size held steady at 3.1 people
  • The majority of visitors who stayed in a hotel made reservations through the hotel website (34 percent), a travel agent (22.6 percent), or a travel website (20.5 percent). 7.6 percent of visitors called their hotel directly, while 6.1 percent used association housing during their stay in New Orleans.
  • The majority of New Orleans area visitors surveyed arrived by airplane (52.2 percent) or in their personal vehicle (40.2 percent)
  • 90.2 percent of visitors who indicated that a cruise was the primary purpose of their trip extended their trip on average 2.4 nights


HISTORICAL VISITOR STATS

YEAR - VISITOR NUMBER - SPENDING

  • 2009:  7.5 million visitors / $4.2 billion visitor spending
  • 2008:  7.6 million / $5.1 billion
  • 2007:  7.1 million /  $4.8 billion
  • 2006:  3.7 million/$2.8 billion
  • 2005:  July – December  stats not available
  • 2005:  January-June: 5.3 million / $2.6 billion
  • 2004:  10.1 million / $4.9 billion
  • 2003:  8.5 million / $4.5 billion

This report presents the results of an online survey that collected data quarterly during 2010. 



The Hospitality Research Center at the University of New Orleans is a collaborative effort of the School of Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism Administration (HRT) and the Division of Business and Economic Research (DBER). The function of the Hospitality Research Center is to provide a variety of research services to hospitality, travel and tourism organizations.