Industry News

Tales of the Cocktail 2017 Generates More Than $18 Million for New Orleans Economy

Continues To Expand Domestic and International Participation
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Tales of the Cocktail®, the world’s premier cocktail festival, held its 15th annual celebration in New Orleans with a week of events taking place from July 18-23, 2017. The event drew thousands of attendees including cocktail enthusiasts, bar managers and directors, working bartenders, and suppliers in the industry during one of New Orleans’ historically slowest months for travel.


According to a report from the University of New Orleans (UNO) Research Department, Tales of the Cocktail® 2017 generated a total economic impact of $18.9 million for the city. That total impact comprises $10.5 million in direct expenditures and $8.4 million in secondary expenditures. In addition, spending at the event is expected to have created or supported nearly 200 full-and part-time jobs creating a total of $5.8 million in additional earnings for residents of the New Orleans area. The event is also expected to have generated a total of $1.4 million in tax revenue for state and local governments.

“Tales of the Cocktail® continues to have a valued and much needed economic impact in New Orleans,” said Tales of the Cocktail President Melissa Young. “Our team is proud to be able to consistently host this week-long event that not only brings visitors from a variety of places and backgrounds to our great city during the slower travel months but also provides a venue to increase revenue and job opportunities in the service, hospitality, and cocktail industries throughout New Orleans. We are looking forward to an even better event in 2018.”

On average, the report finds that Tales of the Cocktail® 2017 visitors spent a total of $1,398 each during their trip to New Orleans. The largest spending was allocated to lodging at about 32 percent followed by dining out, which comprised 30 percent of attendee spending.

“Tales of the Cocktail is an important addition to our un-ending calendar of events. Not only does it give our economy a significant boost in the summer need period, but it reinforces our reputation for being a city that celebrates like no other, providing world-renowned hospitality and experiences found only here,” said Kristian Sonnier, vice president of communications and pubic relations, New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The report notes that the 2017 edition of Tales of the Cocktail® saw an increase in out-of-town attendees who flew into the city, about 83 percent, with California, Texas, New York and Florida topping the list of states sending the most visitors. Visitors from Canada and the United Kingdom also saw an increase in numbers for the 2017 event.

This past year has seen a continued increase in international and domestic participation in Tales of the Cocktail® events and year-round mentorship programs. The Tales of the Cocktail® Cocktail Apprentice Program (CAP) is an exclusive mentorship program for up-and-coming bartenders to learn from and hone their craft alongside some of the biggest names in the business. The 2017 CAP class was split equally between men and women with participants hailing from 20 states throughout the U.S. and 15 countries across the globe, with Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and North America represented.

Since 2008 the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS), the non-profit organization that produces Tales of the Cocktail®, has partnered with UNO to generate an annual economic impact report.

In addition to Tales of the Cocktail® ’s economic impact on New Orleans, proceeds from Tales of the Cocktail® ’s annual events benefit the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS), a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting and growing the international cocktail community. As Tales of the Cocktail® grows, so does NOCCPS’s ability to fund educational programs like the Cocktail Apprentice Scholarship Fund, the Apprentice Aid Medical Fund, a new health initiative for New Orleans service industry workers and several other special projects and initiatives throughout the year.

Tales of the Cocktail® will return to New Orleans July 17-22, 2018.


About Tales of the Cocktail®

Tales of the Cocktail® is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the international spirits community for five days of what’s now, what’s new and what’s next in bartending. Held annually in New Orleans, Tales of the Cocktail® has something for bartenders and spirits professionals with opportunities to mix and mingle with the brightest minds in mixology during an always-spirited schedule of seminars, dinners, competitions, tasting rooms and new product launches.


About the New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society

The New Orleans Culinary and Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS) is a non-profit organization committed to preserving the unique cocktail culture in New Orleans and around the world through education and outreach. Every year the NOCCPS produces a number events including Tales of the Cocktail® and Tales of the Cocktail® on Tour with proceeds being invested back into the international spirits community through educational programs, scholarships, training programs and financial aid.

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