What's New in New Orleans' Hospitality Industry


  • New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) has launched its #HappyTuesday campaign, sharing what makes Tuesdays in New Orleans special for travelers in real time.
    • After Buzzfeed named Tuesday the worst day of the week, NOTMC is aiming to change the day's reputation, noting that Mardi Gras is also celebrated on a Tuesday and the city has a variety of regular early week events.
    • As part of a campaign to encourage early to mid-week visitation to New Orleans, #HappyTuesday includes special prices, discounts and experiences for travelers who stay between Sunday and Wednesday. More than 50 hotels, restaurants and local attractions are participating.
    • The campaign launched on Tuesday, March 29 with a live-response social media campaign in which local actor Bryan Batt, Mardi Gras Indian "Big Chief" David Montana and musician Dr. John responded to Twitter users complaining about Tuesdays with customized messages encouraging them to celebrate the day by planning a trip to New Orleans.
  • 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.
  • Two new hotel brands will debut in New Orleans' Central Business District this spring:
    • 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.
    • Marriott Hotels' Moxy New Orleans will debut in the Crescent City in April 2016 as one of the first U.S. locations of the hip European hotel line. Moxy New Orleans will feature 108 keyless-entry rooms in New Orleans' Central Business District.
      • The hotel brand aims to appeal to millennial travelers 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.
  • Spring marks the kickoff of festival season in New Orleans, with nationally acclaimed festivals taking the stage.
    • French Quarter Festival, the largest free music festival in the U.S., will kick off with 23 stages throughout the French Quarter April 7-10, featuring 1,700 musicians from every musical genre and more than 400 hours of live music.
      • More than two dozen new artists are making their French Quarter Festival debuts, including Cowboy Mouth, Buckwheat Zydeco and Sonny Landreth.
      • Other artists returning to the festival include Charmaine Neville, Treme Brass Band, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Amanda Shaw, Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns and many more.
    • The acclaimed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival will return to the Fair Grounds Race Course for two weekends of both national and local live music April 22-24 and April 28-May 1.
      • Headliners include Stevie Wonder, Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Paul Simon, Snoop Dog and many more.
      • Local favorites at Jazz Fest this year include Irma Thomas, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Aaron Neville, Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, and Grammy Award-winning Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen.


    • Idea Village, a nonprofit promoting entrepreneurship in New Orleans, is partnering with leaders of six other startup hubs in the U.S. to showcase entrepreneurs from each community and attract investment for ventures in those regions.
      • Select entrepreneurs from New Orleans, Buffalo, Charleston, Nashville, Pittsburgh, Raleigh-Durham and San Antonio will participate in the Launch Pad PITCH, a March Madness-style pitch competition at the Collision global tech conference in New Orleans in April 2016. Winners will present to an audience of global investors.
    • The first weekend of April kicked off with several festivals:
      • The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival celebrated its 30th anniversary March 30-April 3, featuring a week of panels, theatrical events, tours and more in honor of New Orleans' literary history.
      • Hogs for the Cause, the annual fundraising barbecue competition and music festival, returned to New Orleans City Park April 1-2 to benefit families with children fighting pediatric brain cancer.
      • The dog-friendly Brunch Fest NOLA debuted in New Orleans City Park on April 3 with brunch dishes and cocktails, a Bloody Mary Contest and opportunities to adopt animals all to benefit the Louisiana SPCA.
    • In addition to French Quarter Festival and New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, April brings several local favorite events:
      • Young Leadership Council's Wednesdays at the Square concert series continues through April, bringing live music to Lafayette Square in the Central Business District every Wednesday evening.
      • The annual Jazz in the Park concert series returns to Armstrong Park every Thursday evening April 14th through June 2nd.
      • The inaugural NOLA Crawfish Festival, the newest addition to New Orleans' festival calendar, will take place April 25-27 at the NOLA Brewing Tap Room, offering a mini-festival of boiled crawfish and performances by local musicians.
      • The annual Zurich Classic will return to TPC Louisiana golf course April 25-May 1, bringing top golf competitors and fans to the Crescent City.
    • Festival season continues through May with a variety of local favorites:
      • The Jazz in the Park Treme Art & Music Festival will debut May 6-8, featuring two main stages of live music, marching bands, second lines, local food and crafts and more in Armstrong Park.
      • The eleventh annual Bayou Boogaloo will return to Bayou St. John in New Orleans' Mid City neighborhood May 20-22, featuring three days of family-friendly music and art.
      • The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience will take over the French Quarter May 26-29, featuring food and wine seminars, the annual Royal Street Stroll, a Grand Tasting and much more.
      • New Orleans Greek Festival returns to the Holy Trinity Cathedral overlooking Bayou St. John May 27-29, featuring Greek food, music and family fun.
    • China Lights, an exhibition of more than 30 brightly lit silk covered structures, has debuted at New Orleans City Park's Botanical Garden, showcasing the work of more than 100 artisans from Sichuan Tianyu in Zigong, China.
      • China Lights includes a glowing 192-foot long dragon, a three-story lit-from-within pagoda tower, hundreds of lanterns and more.
      • The exhibition has been held across Europe and in other U.S. cities, most recently in Rotterdam, the Netherlands and Spokane, Washington.
      • The exhibition will continue through May 1, 2016, open Tuesday-Sunday.

      For a full list of festivals, click here.


      • The Catahoula Hotel will open in New Orleans Central Business District on April 8, featuring 35 rooms in two 19th century buildings.
        • The hotel features a coffee bar and a rooftop terrace serving tiki-inspired cocktails.
        • The hotel's café will offer Peruvian dishes by Chef Dana Honn of local vegetarian restaurant Carmo, and the hotel will also debut a Pisco bar, featuring cocktails made with the Peruvian grape liquor.
      • The Henry Howard Hotel has debuted in New Orleans' Garden District, featuring 18 rooms housed in a historic mansion constructed in 1867. 
        • Named for the man who built the mansion, the Henry Howard Hotel was purchased by the Fitzgerald Hotel Group in 2015 and was reimagined as a luxury boutique hotel. 
      • Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery in partnership with Where Y'Art, a local community of lovers and cultivators of New Orleans art, will debut a third collaborative art exhibition titled Ooh Poo Pah Doo: Rhythm N' Hues Set One on April 7.
        • A tribute to Allen Toussaint, the exhibition explores the intersection of music and art and features works by artists who have drawn inspiration from New Orleans as Allen Toussaint had. 
      • Hotel 504 has opened in the heart of New Orleans' Medical District, just steps from the French Quarter.
        • Formerly a Clarion property, Hotel 504 has reopened under Performance Hospitality and offers meeting and event space. 
      • The historic Pontchartrain Hotel will reopen on St. Charles Avenue in June 2016. Originally opened in 1927, the hotel's food and beverage program will be run by Besh Restaurant Group, and dining options will include the iconic Caribbean Room, Silver Whistle Coffee Shop, the Bayou Bar and a rooftop bar.



      • B.B. King's Blues Club has opened on Decatur Street in New Orleans' French Quarter, featuring Memphis barbecue, classic New Orleans cuisine and music by local musicians seven days a week.
        • This is the second club to open since the music legend's death in 2015, and Tony Coleman, B.B. King's drummer for more than 30 years, serves as music director of the club.
        • The club has partnered with New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) to showcase local music students on stage, giving them the chance to work with other talented artists to hone their skills.



      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:
          • 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)
          • GLO (One new seasonal thrice-weekly departure to Destin, beginning March 25, 2016)
          • Allegiant (One new twice weekly departure to Pittsburgh, beginning February 19, 2016)
          • Allegiant (two new twice-weekly flights to Jacksonville and St. Petersburg, Florida beginning January 2016)
          • GLO (One new daily departure to Shreveport, December 2015, and two new daily nonstop departures to Little Rock and Memphis, November 2015)
          • Spirit Airlines (One new daily flight to Los Angeles, beginning April 14, 2016)


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

      • Microsoft Envision | April 4-6
        • Microsoft Envision delivers business insights and technology expertise at every level. Business leaders, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and a variety of world renowned third party visionaries and thought-leaders will share what's next, what's trending, and how to capitalize.
        • Projected attendance: 6,000
      • American Association for Cancer Research Annual Meeting | April 16-20
        • The mission of the AACR is to prevent and cure cancer through research, education, communication, and collaboration. Through its programs and services, the AACR fosters research in cancer and related biomedical science; accelerates the dissemination of new research findings among scientists and others dedicated to the conquest of cancer; promotes science education and training; and advances the understanding of cancer etiology, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment throughout the world
        • Projected attendance: 20,000
      • ELECTRIC POWER Conference and Exhibition | April 18-21
        • The ELECTRIC POWER Conference + Exhibition brings together more power generators in one place than any other event! ELECTRIC POWER Conference + Exhibition, the official event of POWER magazine, is where generating companies meet to dig deeper into the regulation changes affecting the power generation industry, learn more about how to make their plants operate efficiently and cost-effectively, and how to mitigate risk while simultaneously ensuring safety, complying with regulations and keeping the plant competitive.­
        • Projected attendance: 4,000
      • Collision | April 26-28
        • Collision is "America's fastest growing tech conference" created by the team behind Web Summit. In two years, Collision has grown to over 7,500 attendees from more than 50 countries. Attendees include CEOs of both the world's fastest growing startups and the world's largest companies, alongside leading investors and media.
        • Projected attendance: 8,000




        The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Washington, D.C., Chicago and four foreign countries. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2015.

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


        Media Contacts:
        Sarah Forman

        Kelley Pettus

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