Shining a Light

National Travel & Tourism Week thanks the workers behind the smiles
all photos by kelly massicot

The quickest path to a ruined travel experience is an encounter with bad hospitality. Thankfully, New Orleans has some of the best staff in the world and National Travel & Tourism Week brings an opportunity for us to show our appreciation.

Now in its 34th year, the national observance brings together communities across the country to highlight the importance of the travel industry to policymakers and business leaders, and show appreciation for the workers who make it happen. The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau (NOCVB), along with their major tourism partners, orchestrates events throughout the week to celebrate the industry that employs more than 86,000 locals and brings over $7 billion to New Orleans annually. 

In NOLA, we kicked the week off the way we know best – with a parade.

Held yesterday, it was a #HappyTuesday for the inaugural king and queen: King Corey Bourgeois, kitchen manager, Palace Café, and Queen Pat Coulter, general manager, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Downtown/FQ. The parade began at Tableau in the French Quarter and finished with an industry “toast” at the Capital One Pavilion in Woldenberg Park.

Festivities continue today, Wednesday, May 10, with a NOCVB hospitality tent at Wednesdays at the Square 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Thursday, May 11 brings another NOCVB hospitality tent at Jazz in the Park at Armstrong Park 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., as well as the first NOLA Talk from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.


The NOLA Talk will delve into the culinary arts industry with featured panelists Ti Adelaide Martin, co-proprietor of The Commander’s Family of Restaurants; Emery Whalen, CEO of Our House Hospitality; and James Beard Award-winning Chef Justin Devillier, executive chef and owner of La Petit Grocery. Located at the Stern Auditorium at the New Orleans Museum of Art, it includes a reception and cooking demonstration. It is free and open to the public but advance registration is recommended.

Our hospitality workers welcomed 10.4 million visitors to New Orleans in 2016 and they surely deserve this recognition.

For those looking to join the hospitality industry, there will be a job fest on Wednesday, May 17 at the Stalling St. Claude Center. Watch the New Orleans Will Facebook page for details. 


Categories: Tourism Biz