New Orleans is one of the greatest cities in the world. And it's also now the place I call home. For this season's final episode, I wanted to showcase the best feature of vacation rentals -- the common spaces and privacy -- that is enjoyed best with our loved ones. I invited my family along to explore the question: why have I decided to call this place home?
Our host for this episode was Eric Bay, of the Creole Cottage. Eric is also the President of the Association for Neighborhood Prosperity (ANP) and was also featured on the Unlocked podcast explaining the importance of uniting with other vacation rental professionals, which you can listen here: Episode 18: The Alliance with Eric Bay.
After finishing college in New Orleans, Eric decided to never wear socks again, get out of New York City and move to the Big Easy. After Katrina, Eric began building an alliance of vacation rentals professionals that have helped drive restoration in blighted neighborhoods. New Orleans is also my new home, and to celebrate, we brought the whole family in to explore the city.
Through cook-ins, dine-outs, the best World War II museum in the country and a legendary Jazz Funeral, Matt and family got the full ‘WHO DAT?’ experience. Much like Bali, New Orleans is such an iconic destination with such well preserved local tradition that we began to come up with a formula for how a destination can balance the flow of visitors with its own identity.
"How does one of America's great tourism destinations manage to successfully preserve its soul?" Find out in New Orleans...
In this episode, there are a few interesting things to watch for vacation rental professionals:
- Showcasing "what a family can do" in your vacation rental is something we don't do nearly enough. Whether it's advertising the board games, the size of the kitchen, or merely tasteful photos of groups enjoying your space...think about how prospective guests can "see themselves" in your home.
- As a traveler, I have come to really appreciate services that can be purchased and enjoyed INSIDE the vacation rental I am staying. Kelly and Frank in Hacienda Antigua do this incredibly well. Think about culinary experiences, classes or lessons, historical or educational instructors. All you need to do is provide a list of these people, guests take care of the rest.
- In the World War II Museum scene you'll see that we got to enjoy a new kind of tour -- the Early Access Tour, which lets guests inside the museum before it opens to the general public. More and more cultural institutions are offering these kinds of packages -- and if they don't already, feel inspired to approach them with the idea to do so. It makes for a special experience all around.
Thanks to Eric, John, Fatma, Moncef and Jamila, Chef Amy, Tessa, and my entire family for flying in for this one. Thanks also to Stuart and Tammy -- the producers of the show -- who had to work some magic in this episode thanks to the chaos of moving parts introduced by the Landau Clan. Definitely an unforgettable way to close out the season.