WS wins New Orleans tourism business

NEW ORLEANS and NEW YORK: The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB) has chosen Weber Shandwick to aid in the rebuilding of the city's tourism industry.

NEW ORLEANS and NEW YORK: The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (NOMCVB) has chosen Weber Shandwick to aid in the rebuilding of the city's tourism industry.

The tourism industry generates $5 billion in visitor spending for New Orleans.

WS' travel and lifestyle practice will be handling the effort, which will include a 10-city US media tour, tentatively scheduled to launch this spring in New York City. The events will feature the city's iconic 1920s streetcars as well as its art, music, and cuisine.

The NOMCVB previously worked with a local New Orleans firm, Deveney Communication, until late 2006. They've tapped WS in order to reach an international audience. The NOMCVB has global offices including France, Mexico, and Germany.

"We are literally bringing New Orleans into these various markets to remind people that [the city] is on the map and welcoming vacationers," said René Mack, president of WS' travel and lifestyle practice.

In addition to the media tour, WS will conduct network television outreach in order to draw television shows in to broadcast from the city. While the agency can't disclose the value of the account, Mack describes its work as being on a "semi-pro-bono" basis. They will match each paid dollar with work of equal value at no charge.

"The New Orleans presentation was probably one of the more emotional presentations that we've given," said Mack. "We really wanted to do something for New Orleans."

Last month, the NOMCVB began a rebranding campaign, "Forever New Orleans," which includes a 30-minute travel program and an outdoor and print campaign.

"‘Forever New Orleans' is about the permanence of the city," said Kelly Schulz, VP of communications and PR for the NOMCVB. "The things that make it a wonderful, historic city are here and better than they've ever been."

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