Paul Murphy / Eyewitness News
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NEW ORLEANS -- Memorial Day is the unofficial start of the summer travel season in New Orleans.

Historically, the hotter months have been a slower time of year for the hospitality industry.

'It's normally sleepy,' said French Quarter musician Roselyn Lionhart. 'Just like sleepy town down south. That's summer.'

'It gets real hot and humid,' said Jackson Square artist Ricky Charles. 'But on the weekend it stays pretty busy, for me anyway.'

Local tourism leaders are now running a slick ad campaign across the country encouraging would be visitors to 'Follow Your NOLA' to the Crescent City this summer.

'It's really about getting visitors to come here, and once they get to the city to just go out and explore,' said New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau VP Kelly Schultz.

Schultz hopes the campaign will encourage tourists to expand their horizons and check out what some the neighborhoods outside the French Quarter have to offer.

One Oak Street restaurant owner hopes the ad leads more diners to his door.

'My business partner Tiffiney King and I joke about actually buying a school bus and putting it somewhere on Canal Street and shuttling people up to Oak Street because, unfortunately, not enough people find their way to the different neighborhoods in the city,' said Keith Dusko from Chiba Japanese Restaurant. '(Carrollton) being one of them.'

Dusko says the summertime is a smart time for people to visit New Orleans.

'There's a lot of great values out there in terms of hotels and restaurants, a lot of promotions going on during the week.'

Back in the Quarter, Roselyn Lionhart has some advice for summer visitors.

'No matter where you're going, bring an umbrella,' she said while dodging rain drops on Royal Street.

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