[caption id="attachment_2931" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="Supporters march downtown for National Tourism and Travel Week"][/caption] New Orleans' tourism industry - those that work in pretty much everything from restaurants and hotels to travel agencies - are joining together this week to support the city's economic engine - tourism - which generates $5 billion in economic impact annually and welcomed 8.75 million visitors in 2011. The parade and rally unite members of the New Orleans City Council, hospitality industry leaders, front-line workers and supporters of one of the city's most prosperous industries. New Orleans is one of several cities across the country organizing a travel event in support of National Travel and Tourism Week. Travel and tourism is one of America's largest industries, directly generating $124 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments. One out of every nine jobs in the U.S. depends on travel or tourism. The Mardi Gras-style parade features marching bands, mini-floats, Mardi Gras Indians, stilt walkers and more. Beginning at the Hotel Monteleone, the parade travels down Royal Street, turning on Toulouse Street then Chartres Street and ending at the Cabildo in Jackson Square for a press conference, where industry leaders discuss the power of travel and the major importance it has to the city.