What's New in New Orleans' Hospitality Industry


  • New Orleans has been named the number two "World's Best City" in the U.S. and Canada by readers of Travel + Leisure.
    • This is the second consecutive year New Orleans has garnered the ranking as a world-class destination.
    • New Orleans' renaissance has made the city a hotspot destination, with burgeoning new neighborhoods and new attractions, hotels and more. 
    • New Orleans' newest designation follows a string of accolades, including the "Best U.S. City for Business Travelers" by Condé Nast Traveler and one of the "52 Places to Go in 2015" by The New York Times.
  • The tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina is August 29, 2015 and New Orleans will commemorate with a series of events, including wreath laying ceremonies, a conference, prayer services and more.
    • A decade after the storm, New Orleans has showed continued resilience with new industries, hotels, restaurants and more. 
    • New areas, like Freret Street and the Bywater, have flourished in post-Katrina New Orleans, offering new cultural destinations in the city.
    • For more information on events as well as data on the city's recovery, visit katrina10.org.
  • Copa Airlines, the largest Latin American air carrier, has begun new nonstop service between New Orleans and Panama, enhancing connectivity to more than 55 South American destinations.
    • New Orleans has long held ties to Latin America with Afro-Caribbean heritage and shared trade routes, especially in the banana trade. 
    • New Orleans is Copa's 11th destination in the United States and 71st destination overall. 
    • Flights will depart New Orleans four times weekly on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and depart Panama on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays.



  • This August sample the best of New Orleans's famous cuisine at more than 80 award-winning restaurants across New Orleans during COOLinary New Orleans Restaurant Month.
    • COOLinary Restaurant Month features two-three course lunch menus for $20 or less and three course dinner menus at $39 or less.
    • New to the program this year are brunch menus, with three course meals at $39 or less. 
    • Participating restaurants include favorites such as Antoine's, Galatoire's and Brigtsen's and new additions Carrollton Market, St. Roch Market, MeauxBar and many more.
  • In conjunction with the Be a Tourist in Your Own Hometown campaign for New Orleanians in August and September, the second annual New Orleans Museum Month offers members of participating museums admission to other participating institutions free of charge during the month of August. August and September are great times to experience New Orleans, and the two campaigns encourage locals to experience the best the city has to offer.
  • Southern Decadence, the largest gay event in New Orleans, will return to New Orleans' French Quarter September 2-7 for a weekend of parties, parades and revelry.
    • In its 44th year, Southern Decadence celebrates New Orleans' gay culture, attracting more than 160,000 participants and generating over $190 million for the local economy.
    • Don't miss the Bourbon Street Extravaganza, a free outdoor concert on the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann Street on Saturday, September 5. 
    • In true New Orleans fashion, the festival features two parades: Friday night's Southern Decadence Float Parade and Sunday's Southern Decadence Walking Parade. 
    • New Orleans is a major destination for LGBT travelers with a thriving drag scene, gay heritage and cocktail tours, LGBT-interest entertainment and much more.
  • Louisiana Seafood Festival will bring a weekend of seafood, live music, celebrity chef cooking demonstrations, family activities and more to the City Park Festival Grounds September 4-6.
    • This free festival celebrates the fresh and flavorful bounty of seafood in Louisiana. 
    • The festival will now be held over Labor Day weekend with future dates of September 2-4, 2016 and September 1-3, 2017.
  • The Louisiana Foodservice and Hospitality EXPO, hosted by the Louisiana Restaurant Association, will return to the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center August 8-10.
    • The EXPO includes the 12th Annual Great American Seafood Cook-Off, featuring 12 chefs from across the nation competing for the title of King or Queen of American Seafood using domestic seafood from their home states. The Cook-Off is open to the public.
    • The Third Annual Farm to Table International Symposium will take place in conjunction with the EXPO, bringing leading practitioners together to discuss the cultivation, distribution and consumption of locally produced food and drink products.

For a full list of festivals, click here.



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



  • The Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery opened in April in the Warehouse and Arts District, at 535 Tchoupitoulas.
    • The hotel has partnered with New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts (NOCCA) to feature student artwork in every room as well as in a lobby gallery, with works available for purchase. 
    • Chef Nina Compton of Top Chef: New Orleans acclaim has opened her first restaurant Compère Lapin in the hotel. 
    • Old No. 77 places a focus on local goods, including partnerships that offer guests Old New Orleans Rum, Sucre treats and more.
  • The Aloft New Orleans Downtown, HRI Lodging's newest property, opened in New Orleans' Central Business District in March 2015 with 188 guest rooms, 2,500 square feet of meeting space and cocktail bar.
    • Starwood's Aloft brand spans fourteen countries and is known for its popularity among young tech travelers. 
    • The hotel offers a mobile keyless entry system to rooms that allows guests to use their smart phones as keys. 
    • The Aloft accompanies 192 apartments in the same building dubbed the Strand Apartments.



  • Top Chef: New Orleans contender Chef Nina Compton chose New Orleans as the home of her first restaurant Compère Lapin at Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery. The restaurant opened in June with cuisine that melds the flavors of her Caribbean upbringing and love for French and Italian cuisine.
    • The St. Lucia trained in French tradition at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and takes inspiration from her favorite childhood folktales. 
    • Bar Chefs Ricky Gomez and Abigail Gullo utilize the region's bounty of indigenous ingredients and pay homage to New Orleans' cocktail culture with a well-rounded cocktail menu.



Louis Armstrong International Airport, the fastest growing airport in the U.S., has surpassed pre-Hurricane Katrina passenger numbers, serving 9,785,394 passengers in 2014 and outpacing the 2004 total of 9,733,178 passengers. The city will receive a new airport in 2018 and has added a variety of new flights, including:

  • Copa Airlines (One new nonstop departure to Panama four times weekly June 24, 2015)
  • United Airlines (One new weekly nonstop departure to Cancun, Mexico May 9-September 5, 2015)
  • Southwest Airlines (One new daily departure to Oakland, CA, June 2015) 
  • Vacation Express (One new weekly departure to Punta Cana March-August 2015, Multiple weekly departures to Cancun March-August 2015) 
  • Branson AirExpress (Three new nonstop departures to Cancun, Mexico and Branson, MO beginning May 6, 2015)
  • Silver Airways (Two new daily nonstop departures to Birmingham, AL and one new daily nonstop departure to Pensacola, FL beginning June 16, 2015)



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

  • American Association of Diabetes Educators | Aug. 4-8
    • Founded in 1973, AADE is a multi-disciplinary professional membership organization dedicated to improving diabetes care through education.
    • Projected attendance: 5,000
  • Louisiana Restaurant Association LA Foodservice Expo | Aug. 7-9
    • The Louisiana Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO is the largest and most attended showcase of its kind in the region. In order to ensure a professional business atmosphere, the Louisiana Foodservice & Hospitality EXPO is not open to the general public.
    • Projected attendance: 11,000
  • Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf | Aug. 7-12
    • The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Inc. promotes excellence in the delivery of interpreting services among diverse users of signed and spoken languages through professional development, networking, advocacy and standards.
    • Projected attendance: 3,000
  • Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity | Aug. 11-15
    • KAP is a college Fraternity, now comprised of functioning Undergraduate and Alumni Chapters on major campuses and in cities throughout the country.
    • Projected attendance: 1,500; 13,000 family, friend and guests

For a full list of conventions, click here.



  • 2014: 9.52 million visitors | $6.81 billion (highest visitor spending in city's history)
  • 2013: 9.28 million visitors | $6.47 billion 
  • 2012: 9.01 million visitors | $6 billion 
  • 2011: 8.75 million visitors | $5.47 billion 
  • 2010: 8.3 million visitors | $5.3 billion 
  • 2009: 7.5 million visitors | $4.2 billion 
  • 2008: 7.6 million | $5.1 billion
  • 2007: 7.1 million | $4.8 billion 
  • 2006: 3.7 million | $2.8 billion
  • 2005: July-December: stats not available
  • 2005: January-June: 5.3 million | $2.6 billion
  • 2004: 10.1 million | $4.9 billion
  • 2003: 8.5 million | $4.5 billion
  • Taxes: $250-300 million in tax revenues ... more than any other business sector
  • Economic impact of tourism: $6.81 billion
  • Employment: More than 80,000 
  • Hotels: 277 and 37,844 hotel rooms in the Greater New Orleans Metropolitan Area
  • Restaurants: 1,407 (www.nomenu.com) 
  • Airport: 18,451 average daily seats and 143 average daily departures serving 48 non-stop destinations



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).


Media Contacts:
Sarah Forman

Kelley Pettus

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