What's New in New Orleans'Hospitality Industry - July 2016


  • Condor will begin seasonal nonstop flights from Frankfurt, Germany to New Orleans twice weekly beginning May 3, 2017.
    • This will be New Orleans' first nonstop flight to Europe since the 1980s and will connect New Orleans passengers to more than 120 other cities in the Eastern hemisphere through Condor's partner airlines.
    • Flights will depart on Thursdays and Mondays on a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 259 seats.
    • The flight is estimated to bring nearly 10,000 people to New Orleans annually.
  • U.S. Travel Association's IPW, the travel industry's premier international marketplace, took place in New Orleans June 18-22, attracting more than 6,000 attendees. IPW is the largest generator of travel to the U.S
    • More than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations and more than 1,300 international and domestic travel buyers from 73 countries conducted more than 105,000 pre-scheduled business appointments and negotiations that collectively generate more than $4.7 billion in future travel to the U.S.
    • In addition, more than 500 international and domestic media members were in attendance to report on IPW and New Orleans.
    • IPW's impact will ripple through the local economy for an estimated three years after - as travel buyers and international journalists attending the show influence future trips to the host city based on what they experienced at the conference and exploring New Orleans and the region.
    • The direct economic impact of IPW 2016 on the Greater New Orleans economy is estimated at more than $1.7 billion, with 1 million international visitors by 2018.
  • The historic Pontchartrain Hotel and reopened with 106 rooms and a refreshed Caribbean Room restaurant on St. Charles Avenue on June 17, 2016.
    • Originally opened in 1927, the hotel earned notoriety with visits from Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, Truman Capote, President Gerald Ford and Tennessee Williams, who wrote A Streetcar Named Desire while staying at the hotel.
    • The hotel's food and beverage program is run by Chef Chris Lusk of Besh Restaurant Group, and dining options will include the iconic Caribbean Room, Silver Whistle Coffee Shop, the Bayou Bar and the Hot Tin rooftop ba
  • August and September bring incredible deals two New Orleans with three campaigns: COOLinary Restaurant Month, Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown and New Orleans Museum Month.
    • COOLinary Restaurant Month takes place throughout the month of August, and restaurants offer special two- and three-course lunch menus for $20 or less, three-course dinner menus for $39 or less and three-course brunch menus for $39 or less. Participating restaurants to be announced.
    • Be A Tourist in Your Own Hometown encourages local New Orleanians to take advantage of all the city has to offer, with local hotels, attractions and more offering special deals for the months of August and September.  Locals can also participate in a social media contest to win prizes. Details and deals to be announced.
    • New Orleans Museum Month returns this August, offering locals with a membership to one participating museum access to all other participating museums free of charge throughout the month. Details to be announced.
    • Restaurant Week New Orleans, formerly We Live to Eat Restaurant Week, returns September 12-18, bringing specials from restaurants across the city. Restaurants to be announced.



  • Festival season continues through July with some big names and local favorites:
    • Essence Festival will return to New Orleans June 30-July-3, bringing big name R&B, hip-hop and jazz acts for a weekend celebration of African American music and culture.  Headliners include Kendrick Lamar, Mariah Carey, Ciara and more. 
    • Celebrate Independence Day New Orleans-style with Go Fourth on the River, an incredible display of fireworks over the Mississippi River. Ranked as one of the Top 5 must-see fireworks displays in the U.S. by the American Pyrotechnic Association, Go Fourth on the River kicks offers a Dueling Barges Fireworks display choreographed to music.
    • Bastille Day Fête will celebrate the French national holiday on July 15th, bringing musical performances, a dog costume contest, French cuisine and specialty cocktails, children's activities and much more to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden at New Orleans Museum of Art.
    • San Fermin in Nueva Orleans, New Orleans' own Running of the bulls, takes place July 8-10. The Big Easy Rollergirls serve as the "bulls" and chase after participants with plastic bats in hand. 
    • Tales of the Cocktail, the spirits industry's premier cocktail festival, will return to New Orleans July 19-24, bringing with it a series of seminars, demonstrations, spirited dinners, its very own restaurant week and more.
    • FestiGals, New Orleans' premier girlfriend getaway weekend, will return to the JW Marriott July 28-30, 2016 for three days of authentic New Orleans experiences, including workshops, a Stiletto Stroll Second-Line Parade, the Bodacious Bras for a Cause Benefit and more.
      • Carla Harris, Vice Chairman, Managing Director and Senior Client Advisor at Morgan Stanley, will give the keynote.
      • This year's event lineup will also include FestiTalks, dynamic presentations on a variety of topics which are delivered in small segments.
      • New Orleans broadcasting legend Angela Hill will serve as 2016 Grand Diva, and the "Queen of Creole Cuisine" Chef Leah Chase will host a private dinner in her own Dooky Chase Restaurant.
  • August Festivals:
    • The 16th annual Satchmo SummerFest presented by Chevron will take place in Jackson Square August 5-7, bringing a weekend of live music, food, seminars and more to celebrate Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong's birthday.
      • This year's festival will bring the new "Back o' Town" stage, an air-conditioned stage in the Louisiana State Museum's Arsenal.
    • Whitney White Linen Night celebrates its 40th season on August 6th, inviting patrons of the arts to don white linen and peruse more than 20 local galleries on Julia Street and sample food from 25 restaurants along Julia Street in the Arts District.
    • On August 13th, Dirty Linen Night invites art enthusiasts to don their dirty linens from the previous weekend to stroll through galleries along Royal Street in the French Quarter and sample food and cocktails from local restaurants.
    • On August 13th, both men and women will don red dresses to race through the French Quarter in the annual Red Dress Run, which supports more than 100 local charities.
    • Southern Decadence returns for its 45th celebration of LGBT culture in New Orleans over Labor Day Weekend August 31-September 5, bringing parades, parties and much more to the French Quarter.
  • The inaugural New Orleans Daiquiri Season is set to take over New Orleans for the month of September.
    • Formerly the New Orleans Daiquiri Festival, Tales of the Cocktail is bringing back the festival as a season with 30 days of special events and tastings.

For a full list of festivals, click here.



  • Trinity Restaurant has opened in New Orleans' Lower French Quarter with a menu drawing on the multiple cultural influences of the city.
    • With a $1 million makeover, the multi-level indoor/outdoor restaurant encompasses 6,000 square feet and accommodates more than 100 guests.
    • Chef Michael Isolani, most recently of Bouligny Tavern, helms the kitchen and serves up a small-plate gastropub menu with a focus on local products and using familiar ingredients to create unfamiliar dishes.
  • New Orleans chefs garnered a slew of accolades at the James Beard Awards in Chicago on May 2nd:
    • Chef Alon Shaya's namesake Israeli restaurant Shaya was named "Best New Restaurant" at the James Beard Awards in Chicago. At last year's awards, Chef Shaya was awarded "Best Chef: South" for his other restaurants Domenica and Pizza Domenica.
    • Chef Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery and Balise was awarded "Best Chef: South" at this year's awards.
    • Chef Leah Chase of the acclaimed Dooky Chase's Restaurant was awarded the Foundation's prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Tujague's, New Orleans' second oldest dining institution, celebrates its 160th anniversary in 2016 and in celebration will offer a variety of special events and offerings.
    • Beginning May 1, Tujague's will offer an $18.56 three-course prix fixe lunch available Monday-Friday, and additional celebrations will include guest chef dinners, contests and more.
    • The Southern Food and Beverage Museum has launched a special exhibit on Tujague's in May, featuring artifacts and memorabilia from the restaurant.
    • The restaurant will also be added to National Culinary Heritage Register, which honors historic establishments that have contributed significantly to the development of American foodways.
  • Chef Emeril Lagasse has appointed Chef Will Avelar as Chef de Cuisine of Meril, the celebrity chef's fourth New Orleans restaurant slated to open in New Orleans' Warehouse District later this year.
    • Will Avelar joined the Emeril's team in 2005 and has enjoyed positions at all of Emeril's New Orleans restaurants, most recently serving as sous chef at Emeril's Delmonico.



  • Marriott Hotels' Moxy New Orleans has debuted in New Orleans' Central Business District as one of the first U.S. locations of the hip European hotel line. Moxy New Orleans will feature 108 keyless-entry rooms.
    • The hotel brand aims to appeal to adventure seekers with inviting lobbies, self-service grab and go, free Wi-Fi and the Moxy Digital Guestbook for streaming videos and pictures.
    • The openings of the Moxy Tempe in March and the Moxy New Orleans are the brand's first in the U.S. 
  • The Ace Hotel New Orleans debuted on March 14 in a historic 1928 Art Deco building with 234 rooms.
    • The hotel's signature restaurant is Josephine Estelle, the brainchild of Memphis James Beard Award finalists Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman. Phillip Mariano, former chef de cuisine of Domenica, serves as executive chef of Josephine Estelle, blending flavors of the American South with Italian influences.
    • The Ace Hotel New Orleans features its own music venue Three Keys with nightly performances and Alto, a rooftop garden with relaxed poolside dining and cocktails.
    • The hotel also features Stumptown Coffee's first café in the south, with a variety of cold brew options.



  • FUHWE, a new travel website and app that connects explorers to locals in person, launched in New Orleans in April 2016.
    • The app encourages visitors to explore the city like a local and gives New Orleanians the opportunity to monetize their passions while creating authentic and memorable experiences for travelers.
    • The app is available for free download on iPhones and will be available later this year on Android devices.



New Orleans continues to garner international attention as a world-class destination.Recent honors include:



  • Construction has begun on a new terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, set to debut in 2018.
    • This $826 million project will feature 30 gates, a 2,000-car parking garage, a central utility plant and a ground transportation staging area.
    • The new terminal is projected to have a $3.2 billion annual economic impact on tourism in New Orleans.
    • The airport has also added a variety of new flights:
      • Condor (One new twice-weekly departure to Frankfurt, Germany, beginning May 3, 2017)
      • Allegiant (One new twice-weekly departure to Tulsa International Airport,  May 26, 2016)
      • GLO (Two new seasonal weekly departures to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, June 24-September 5, 2016)
      • JetBlue (One new daily departure to Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, beginning September 29, 2016)
      • Branson AirExpress (Return of seasonal air service four times weekly to Branson Airport, May 26-August 14, 2016)
      • Allegiant (One new twice weekly departure to Pittsburgh, February 19, 2016)
      • Allegiant (two new twice-weekly flights to Jacksonville and St. Petersburg, Florida, January 2016)
      • Spirit Airlines (One new daily flight to Los Angeles, beginning April 14, 2016)



  • The Port of New Orleans welcomed the Carnival Triumph, the city's newest cruise ship, on April 4, 2016.
    • The Carnival Triumph offers 4- and 5-day cruise itineraries from New Orleans and will bring a 34 percent increase in capacity to cruises from New Orleans.
    • Together the Carnival Dream, which offers 7-day cruises from New Orleans, and Carnival Triumph are expected to carry 450,000 passengers annually.



Meetings (3,000 or more in attendance)include:

  • Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod (LCMS) National Youth Gathering | July 16-20
    • Celebrating this year's theme, In Christ Alone We Stand, Lutheran youth from around the country will gather to learn about, discuss and embrace their faith. These 25,000+ youth, ages 15-17, will enjoy activities arranged in the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center (MCCNO) and Mercedes-Benz Superdome as well as go out into the local community to serve through volunteer activities.
    • Projected attendance: 25,000 youth, ages 15-17, with chaperones
  • MechaCon Anime Convention | July 29-31
    • MechaCon began as an anime convention that brings together anime, Transformers, and Japanese culture. Since, MechaCon evolved to include fandoms such as Sci-Fi, Comics and Domestic Animation, making it a complete fan experience.
    • Projected attendance: 3,400



The New Orleans Convention &Visitors Bureau is anationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and thelargest and most successful private economic development corporation inLouisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers andmillions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing,public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquartersand offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago and four foreign countries.Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the NewOrleans CVB celebrates its 56th anniversary in 2016.

Formore information, please visit www.neworleanscvb.com,follow us on Twitter (@NewOrleansCVB), ‘like' us on Facebook (Visit New Orleans) and follow us on Instagram (VisitNewOrleans).



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