Giving Greater Thanks

We have a lot to be thankful for in Greater New Orleans.

In a world of accelerating change, where volatility is the new normal, our region is steadily emerging as a model of partnership and progress.

The most recent proof of our winning formula was British Airway’s announcement that they will soon commence non-stop air service between New Orleans and London. For the first time since 1982, our region will be directly connected to Europe, and with the addition of our other new flights to Frankfurt, Panama, and beyond – Greater New Orleans has rejoined the global community. This win was the result of over four years of public/private collaboration, and a compelling narrative of success that ultimately won over British Airways management.

So what are we thankful for? On a fundamental level, the three underlying competitive advantages that are driving our success:

• A river that connects to over 30 states, and is the most important artery for waterborne commerce in the county
• A gulf that provides a bounty of energy and aquaculture that allows us to power and feed the country and world
• A special culture that – in an increasingly homogenous world – shines as a beacon to people seeking the light of authenticity

We are thankful that, supported by these advantages, Greater New Orleans is now:

• One of the top in the nation in foreign-direct investment and trade growth
• Home to world-class advanced manufacturing, from wind turbine blades to space rockets
• Second in the USA in growth of “knowledge industries,” including software development
• An emerging leader in the biomedical and environmental management sectors
• A hotbed of entrepreneurship, leading the nation by 64% in startup activity
• #1 for growth of international tourists
• #1 for in-migration of people with college degrees

But most of all, we are thankful for a community that is more committed to its home, and more committed to each other, than perhaps anywhere else in America. This is our ultimate competitive advantage. It is why we are winning today, and how we will tackle the challenges of tomorrow – for all of Greater New Orleans.