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Aug 13, 201810:15 AM
New Orleans Voices

Our City Talks Back

Carling Dinkler: How tourism got started in New Orleans

Carling Dinkler is founder of Custom Conventions Destination Solutions, a New Orleans-based Destination Management Company. Dinkler’s company provides tourists and conventioneers with turnkey packages that offer visitors a broad range of New Orleans’ experiences. Dinkler’s enduring success is the result of his decades of experience in the hospitality industry. Many locals and visitors are unaware that the city’s thriving hospitality industry had its roots in the early 1970s. While New Orleans has been a destination for curious visitors for over 200 years, not until the 1970s did leaders recognize tourism’s potential to be a real economic driver for the city. Dinkler notes that visionary and developer, Lester Kabacoff, sowed the seeds for the emerging industry when he approached then-mayor Moon Landrieu with a government research report. The report predicted that tourism was going to be one of New Orleans’ next big industries.   

As Dinkler explains, the hospitality industry did not “just happen” in New Orleans; it required a great deal of vision and hard work to move the industry forward to become the economic giant it is today. In this podcast, Dinkler shares his extensive, in-depth knowledge of how this often taken-for-granted industry had its modern beginnings in the Crescent City.

 

 

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New Orleans Voices

Our City Talks Back

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Craig Kraemer grew up in New Orleans on Lowerline Street, across from the Carrollton Cemetery. As a child, he watched countless Jazz Funerals wind their way into the cemetery long before Jazz Funerals became cool. He remembers Hurricane Betsy and Mayor Vic Schiro’s famous quote to panicked citizens: “...don’t believe any false rumors unless they come from me...”

 

Kraemer lives now in Faubourg Saint John near picturesque Bayou St. John. (He prefers the term "faubourg" to"neighborhood" to reflect his pride in New Orleans’ French heritage.) Although his father’s family was originally from Germany, Kraemer’s ancestors—who established the town of Kraemer, Louisiana— adopted Cajun culture and traditions. His mother's family came straight from Paris to settle in New Orleans.

 

Kraemer's day job is as a videographer and graphic designer for his company, Kraemer Advertising. Kraemer's ongoing projects include filming productions for the New Orleans Opera, and symposiums and events for the Historic New Orleans Collection. In addition, he provides a variety of web videos and other film and graphic services for corporate and business clients. Kraemer's love for history and tradition have led him to recently open a new business: CK Digital Memories. This unique service allows Kraemer to apply his skills as an award-winning documentarian, film editor and visual designer to film and produce very personal and comprehensive Family History Video Documentaries for discerning clients. These broadcast quality productions capture the life stories of traditionalists who value their family legacies and heritages.

 

Kraemer’s clients understand the importance of preserving family history and achievements. They put high value on their history and want lasting video tributes to share their family pride with generations to come. In his work, Kraemer films clients as they recount family stories and share personal reminiscences. He then edits the video to include photographs and home movies the family provides. To add richness and ambiance, Kraemer adds music selections that relate to the stories and their eras, and includes photo images of cherished heirlooms or objects that have special family meaning. The result is a unique family chronicle, an enduring testament to a family’s continuing heritage. 

 

Kraemer started his New Orleans Podcasting site as a community service four months following Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans was in dire need of positive stories after the massive devastation of the storm. The national media were taking care of the negative stories. However, those who had stayed through Katrina, who were still in the city or who had just returned were eager to talk about the good things that were happening, however small they were. Kraemer’s weekly podcast interviews provided much needed injections of hope as they regularly highlighted positive stories throughout the city. Today, Kraemer continues to gather positive and unique stories to inform locals and the world about the wonderful place we call home.

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