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.