New Orleans Officials Deny They Wanted Tourism Site Redesigned For Peanuts

Mardi GrasNew Orleans: $2,500, job done!

Photo: AP Photo

UPDATE: New Orleans’ tourism officials say they have no idea who put out a request for proposal to redesign their web site for $2,500 or less, but it wasn’t them.*The ad appeared on a site where clients can crowdsource freelance creative work.

Mark Romig, CEO of New Orleans Tourism Marketing, said he did not know who was behind the ad, which purports to offer one of New Orleans’ most important branding assignments for the price of a couple months’ rent.

“We have no idea. We have a very successful website —
www.neworleansonline.com — and [are] most happy with it,” Romig tells BI.

Most tourism-dependent cities pay special attention to their tourism web sites, given that it’s often a prospective traveller’s first contact with the city.

The request for proposals can be seen on Elance.com. It asks for:

Webmasters, please compose a professional layout and map for a new tourism website for New Orleans, La. This proposal should include ideas slated for a destination and attraction website that follows best practices for site design, content strategy and search engine optimization.

But the job doesn’t end there. The client, whoever it is, also wants a fully integrated online campaign effort:

Be very specific when discussing ideas for this project. You are encouraged to include the most practical ideas for a: website platform, keyword search campaign, content strategy campaign, integration of Travelocity partner booking engine, local advertising (business directory with link), deals section, live twitter feed section, pdf tourism guide book, site maintenance, administrative panel and all other features that would make this website attractive to search engines and travellers.

The client then adds, “The budget for this assignment is $1,000 to $2,500. Bid to win.”

Two bids have been accepted, five have been declined; most of those bids were for above the budget.

Doubtless “New Orleans” will get exactly what it pays for.

*This story was updated from an original version, to add Romig’s statement.

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