NEW ORLEANS & COMPANY RE-LAUNCHES CITYWIDE “EVERYONE’S WELCOME HERE” CAMPAIGN

NewOrleans Everyones Welcome Here NOLHA

Storefront rainbow flag stickers send a resounding message to the LGBTQ+ community that they are welcomed and respected in New Orleans; businesses take a pledge of inclusiveness not only in theory but in day-to-day operations

NEW ORLEANS – June 13, 2023 – New Orleans & Company, the city’s
official destination sales and marketing organization, in partnership
with the New Orleans LGBTQ Hospitality Alliance (NOLHA), is re-launching
the 2019 “Everyone’s Welcome Here” campaign and asking local
businesses to take a pledge to actively welcome LGBTQ+ visitors and
people of all backgrounds and identities into our community.

Rainbow flag stickers are appearing in storefronts of local businesses
proclaiming, “Everyone’s Welcome Here.” However, the campaign goes
far beyond stickers. There is a training program in place so that
businesses know exactly how to make inclusion a part of their day-to-day
business and making guests feel welcome and respected. A video is
available here. [2]

Walter J. Leger, III, President and CEO of New Orleans & Company said,
“New Orleans has long been known as a place where everyone is welcome
to enjoy our incredible culture, but the ‘Everyone’s Welcome Here’
program makes that clear and provides businesses that join the program
with educational support to enhance inclusivity in their day-to-day
operations.  It’s more than just a sticker, it sends an important
message to visitors, whether they be here for leisure, convention
customers and those making decisions on where special events will be
held in a competitive marketplace that inclusion is a part of who we are
and how we operate. For generations, New Orleans has been celebrated as
a welcoming, inclusive destination for all and host to iconic LGBTQ+
events such as Southern Decadence. Our unique beauty comes not just from
our diversity of cultures but also in the blending of those cultures to
create something uniquely our own. In New Orleans, EVERYONE is welcome
and diversity is celebrated. New Orleans has a perfect score on the
Human Rights Campaign’s MEI Scorecard [3], which measures inclusivity
based on factors such as municipal services and LGBTQ leadership. This
is not just a temporary campaign during Pride month … inclusion is in
our DNA.”

Dustin Woehrmann, President and Creative Director of Community, a New
Orleans strategic marketing agency, and a volunteer leader of the New
Orleans LGBTQ Hospitality Alliance said, “According to SAP CONCUR, 97
percent of the LGBTQ+ community are worried about their safety and
discrimination when traveling. We know New Orleans has always been a
welcoming city, so our top priority is making sure LGBTQ+ travelers feel
safe, respected, supported, and free to be themselves. Displaying an
‘Everyone’s Welcome Here’ sticker at your business is doing exactly
that.”

“Whether as a community organizer, a City Councilmember or as Mayor, I
have been steadfast in my commitment to serve all people regardless of
who they are, or who they love,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell. “New
Orleans is a welcoming city that openly celebrates and embraces
diversity, as it is what makes up the beautiful fabric of our great
city. As a true ally who has led the charge and been on the frontlines
with our community partners and organizations, everyone will always be
loved and accepted here in New Orleans, and I will continue to do my
part to make New Orleans a place that is more inclusive, more equitable,
and more diverse as a whole.”

In addition to being Pride Month, June marks the 50th anniversary of the
Up Stairs Lounge arson, which happened in 1973 at a small gay bar at 604
Iberville Street in New Orleans French Quarter. Thirty-two people
perished in the fire, but at the time, local police did not consider the
tragedy a top priority. The arson at the Up Stairs Lounge remains
officially unsolved despite being the deadliest crime against LGBTQ+
people in US history until the 2016 Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando.
The 50th-anniversary commemoration [4], June 23-25, 2023, will document
and share this overlooked event with the community and honor the victims
and their families.

New Orleans now has become a shining example [5] of what inclusivity
should look like because of a commitment to championing freedom and
safety for marginalized communities. Everything from New Orleans’
history [6] to businesses [7] and bars [8] is a testament to the
fundamental and lasting impact our queer community has made on New
Orleans’ collective culture.  

If you are a business owner who would like to join Everyone’s Welcome
Here, or for more information, visit www.neworleans.com/welcoming.

About New Orleans & Company
New Orleans & Company is the tourism and hospitality industry’s
official destination sales, marketing and trade organization,
responsible for driving over $10 billion of diverse annual business to
the regional cultural economy. We attract leisure and cultural travel,
business meetings, conventions, weddings, festivals, sporting and
special events to New Orleans in a highly competitive global
environment. Founded in 1960, New Orleans & Company is committed to
celebrating the richness of our culture while creating jobs, building
careers, and enhancing the quality of life for every New Orleanian. For
more information, visit neworleans.com [9] or follow us on Twitter,
Facebook and Instagram @VisitNewOrleans.  

About NOLHA
The New Orleans LGBTQ Hospitality Alliance (NOLHA) was assembled in an
effort to unite local LGBTQ+ community leaders and allies, grow
attendance for local events, and increase LGBTQ+ visitation to New
Orleans. Under the joint efforts of all key LGBT figures and allies,
this group acts as a platform that helps educate and support one another
– through which, each respective organization grows and strengthens.

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