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What's New in New Orleans - IPW Edition


  • 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.
  • 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.
    • The Port of New Orleans served a record 1,023,700 cruise passengers in 2015, and the Port will continue to grow as Viking Cruises has announced New Orleans as the homeport for Viking River Cruises' first North American river cruise itineraries set to debut in 2017.  
  • The historic Pontchartrain Hotel reopens with 106 rooms 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 will be 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 bar.
  • 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. 
  • 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 Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival will return to Armstrong Park June 18-19 for a weekend of food and live music, including performances by Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas and more.
  • 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.
    • New Orleans Pride Festival will return June 17-19 for a weekend of events, including top-tier music and entertainment, a parade and one of the premier fundraising events of the year.
    • 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 on Friday, July 29.
      • This year's FestiGals will also include FestiTalks, dynamic presentations on a variety of topics which are delivered in small segments.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.


  • 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.
  • The Catahoula Hotel debuted 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 offers Peruvian dishes by Chef Dana Honn of local vegetarian restaurant Carmo, and the hotel is also home to 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.


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


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. Consistentlyrecognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebratesits 56th anniversary in 2016. 

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