New Orleans Tourism Travels to More Markets

Budget Bump, Harrah’s Casino Ante Extend Reach in the East
NEW ORLEANS-The New Or-leans Tourism Marketing Corp. has added an extra $1 million to its $5 million marketing budget to extend the annual summer campaign beyond the traditional South-Midwest target audience.
That means New Orleans will be hyped to far-flung cities such as New York, Los Angeles and a host of other markets it does not ordinarily mine for tourists.
The Crescent City’s marketing arm normally targets its Southern neighbors, including Texas and Oklahoma, in the annual marketing efforts through agency of record Montgomery Stire & Partners here.
This year’s budget had already been doubled from the $2.5 million spent in 1998. It was icing on the cake when NOTMC received an additional $1 million to work with, thanks to a donation from Harrah’s New Orleans Casino, which is scheduled to open Oct. 28.
Harrah’s has its own advertising budget, estimated at $4 million. The casino has named Peter A. Mayer Advertising in New Orleans to handle its account. By donating the extra $1 million to the Big Easy’s marketing effort, Harrah’s ensures it will be mentioned in those ads as well.
“The big challenge is to have people know the casino exists before they leave home, and then they will bring more money for gambling,” said Frank Stire of MS&P.
Other metro markets that will be exposed to New Orleans’ advertising for the first time include Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Last year, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. brought its message to 17 regional markets throughout the summer, including Chicago and Dallas. The long-running tagline is: “Come join the parade.”
The group’s major advertising push each year occurs during the summer, when the lack of business conventions and trade expos hurts local hotels and tourist destinations.
The city’s hotel occupancy rate is among the highest nationwide during peak convention periods.
MS&P recently lost out on its bid to win the $9 million Louisiana state tourism account, which remained at Mayer. -Janet Plume