Warren L. Reuther, Jr. Honored with Louisiana True Ambassador Award
NEW ORLEANS – BigEasy.com / Hospitality Enterprises announced that its president and CEO Warren L. Reuther, Jr. earned the Louisiana True Ambassador award on Sept. 3, 2019 at the Lieutenant Governor’s Tourism Summit in Baton Rouge. Reuther received this recognition in honor of his vision and efforts throughout his career, creating thousands of job opportunities along with billions of dollars of additional revenue for Louisianans. The announcement was made in a press release.
“Anyone who knows me knows that tourism is my passion. The city of New Orleans wouldn’t be continually recognized as a top place to visit in the world without the support of the dedicated hospitality and tourism industry. I’m honored to accept this award and look forward to seeing our city and state continue to grow by leaps and bounds,” said Reuther.
Reuther has served as a driving force behind the most productive parts of the hospitality and tourism industry. In 1986, the hospitality and tourism industry in Louisiana was expanding rapidly. As president of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau (now New Orleans & Company), Reuther realized the need for representation of Culture Recreation and Tourism (CRT) in Baton Rouge under Louisiana’s Lieutenant Governor. Managing the statewide CRT department, Reuther also recognized that obtaining new sources of funding for statewide marketing efforts was vitally important. Working with Gov. Edwin Edwards, Reuther assisted in drafting a new CRT bill that included the funding to market all corners of Louisiana worldwide.
“I want to thank the Lieutenant Governor, the Governor, the leaders in the hospitality and tourism industry and the office of CRT for recognizing the importance of my vision,” Reuther added.
With the help of this new CRT structure, Louisiana’s hospitality and tourism industry has exploded. In 2018, Louisiana boasted 51.3 million domestic and international visitors to the state along with an additional $18.8 billion total visitor spending under the leadership of Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. As Reuther noted in his acceptance speech, the hotels rooms in the New Orleans metropolitan area alone have grown from approximately 10,000 in the 1980s to over 50,000 hotel rooms in 2019. In addition, there are 40 new hotels currently scheduled for completion. The cruise ship industry saw 1.2 million passengers out of the Port of New Orleans in 2018.
Reuther has played an important part in creating many new statewide sightseeing tours and attractions in small towns and cities, which now play a major role in Louisiana’s CRT industry. As president and CEO of BigEasy.com / Hospitality Enterprises, Reuther can personally attest to the success of the Paddlewheeler Creole Queen, which has welcomed tens of thousands of locals and tourists alike to the city in its 35 years in operation. This fall, Hospitality Enterprises will add a second boat, the Riverboat Louis Armstrong, as a venue for music events, concerts, weddings, conventions, and large-scale private parties, including a Louis Armstrong Gospel jazz brunch on Sundays.