Tourism Cares for New Orleans
– Tourism Cares will renew its dedication to the Gulf Coast restoration effort this spring by bringing its annual clean-up event, Tourism Cares for America, back to New Orleans. Announced today at the National Tour Association’s (NTA) annual convention taking place in Kansas City, Mo., the New Orleans clean-up project will be held in the Louis Armstrong Park in the Treme neighborhood, just outside the French Quarter.
Tourism has been historically vital to New Orleans, and the industry recognizes the need to give back to the people, the community, and the sites. Tourism Cares is at the forefront of this pursuit, annually undertaking a massive clean-up project at an American tourism landmark. Lasting only a few days, April 17 - 19, the project will accomplish major repairs and upkeep that it would take the site’s staff several months to complete.
“Tourism Cares has a relationship with New Orleans, which means we aren’t just showing up for an event,” Bruce Beckham, executive director, Tourism Cares, stated at the NTA Convention. “Hurricane Katrina was a tragedy of enormous proportions, and the work is far from over. Tourism Cares will keep coming back until it is.”
This will be Tourism Cares’ fourth clean-up project for the city of New Orleans. In the aftermath of the hurricane, Tourism Cares sold wristbands to benefit the entire Gulf Coast, raising $100,000 in grants awarded to the devastated cities in Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. The $10 bands are once again available for purchase at this year’s NTA convention.
Tourism Cares also recently awarded the Gulf Coast city of Biloxi a $10,000 grant for the reconstruction of the Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art, which had suffered catastrophic levels of destruction during Hurricane Katrina.
Louis Armstrong Park is centrifugal to African American and musical history. In present day, the park is home to Mahalia Jackson Center for the Performing Arts and the Morris F. X. Jeff Municipal Auditorium. In the 18th and 19th centuries, however, slaves would gather on Sundays in the park’s Congo Square to play music in the open, the only time it was permitted.
The sixth Tourism Cares for America clean-up project involves travel and tourism’s leaders working “in the trenches,” giving back to the industry on which their personal success is based. The presence of industry VIPs not only benefits the area through the obvious manual labor, but by stimulating the economy during their stay.
Tourism Cares is a 501©(3) non-profit public charity that mobilizes the travel and tourism industry to give back to society through grants to natural, cultural and historic sites worldwide; through academic and service-learning scholarships for students of hospitality and tourism; and through the organization of volunteer efforts to clean up and restore tourism-related sites in need of care and rejuvenation. For additional information about Tourism Cares, please visit www.tourismcares.org
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