I’d Like to Thank the Academy

New Orleans garners more tourism awards.


In entertainment, the Emmy Awards kicked off awards season last month. Before you know it, we’ll be bombarded with advertisements for Golden Globe- and Oscar-nominated films. And while our governor recently met with some Hollywood execs to court them back into filming in Louisiana, we’re a bit on the outskirts of the entertainment award hullabaloo. Fortunately, we have our own lane in which to thrive – tourism.

This week New Orleans picked up another award by being named the third best big city in the country by Condé Nast Traveler magazine in its 31st annual Readers’ Choice Awards. First place went to Chicago and the “second city” was New York in lovely twist of fate.

“It is an incredible honor to be recognized as a top city among some of the most popular destinations in the country. Our history, unique neighborhoods and, most of all, our local culture bearers make up the authentic spirit that is felt by every visitor who chooses New Orleans,” said Stephen Perry, president and CEO of New Orleans & Company, in a press release. “There are more restaurants, things to do and places to stay in New Orleans than ever before, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to New Orleans throughout 2018 to celebrate the city’s 300th birthday.”

Nearly 430,000 Condé Nast Traveler readers participated in the voting, which also included rankings of hotels, resorts, small cities and more. The other seven cities completing the top 10 big cities category are in order: San Francisco, Honolulu, San Antonio, San Diego, Seattle, Portland, Oregon and Boston. Of that group, New Orleans clearly stands out for our authenticity and our latitude. Well, except for San Antonio. Fun fact: we almost share a latitude with San Antonio, with us at 29.9511° N and them at 29.4241° N.

So, latitude aside, we represent our own version of the American South and based on the readers’ response, tourists still recognize our unique culture.

“New Orleans continues to provide visitors of all ages the opportunity to participate in a city that has provided more than 300 years of stories, and to leave with their own story,” said Mark Romig, president and CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, in a press release.

Those stories, true to our current tourism campaign of “One Time in New Orleans,” are real. Before I ever visited New Orleans myself, family and friends told me stories of their travels here. Then, when I had the good sense to get here myself, I created memories that I continue to share to this day. Our hospitality and our celebration of life leave a permanent mark on those who visit. Thankfully, they remember that when they vote.

To see other recent tourism awards and honors, including those from TripAdvisor, Expedia Viewfinder, National Geographic Traveller UK, Fast Company, Southern Living and more, visit the New Orleans & Company website. Additionally, if you haven’t watched the “One Time in New Orleans” Varla Jean Merman bits, please do so. They’re pretty great.



Categories: Tourism Biz