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What's New in New Orleans

Hospitality Industry - May 2017


Condor Airlines will begin a new, seasonal twice-weekly departure from Frankfurt, Germany direct to New Orleans on May 3rd through October 4th, 2017.
  • This will be New Orleans' second nonstop flight to Europe since the 1980s with the British Airways flight to London launching in March, and will connect passengers from more than 120 other cities in the Eastern hemisphere to New Orleans through Condor's partner airlines.
  • Flights will depart on Wednesdays and Sundays on a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft with 259 seats.
  • The flight is estimated to bring nearly 10,000 people to New Orleans annually.


The acclaimed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival began April 28th - 30th and continues this following weekend, May 4th - 7th at the Fair Grounds Race Course.
  • Headliners include Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder and many more.
  •  New Orleans' own Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, The Meters, Aaron Neville, Irma Thomas and more will also headline the festival. 
  • Each year, Jazz Fest attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and has an economic impact of more than $350 million.

Central City BBQ is hosting the first annual NOLA Crawfish Festival, May 1st - 3rd featuring more than 5,000 pounds of boiled crawfish, live music and craft beer from NOLA Brewery.

  • A local celebrity panel will judge the Ultimate Crawfish Cook-Off at the festival, where twenty teams will compete for the title of "best crawfish boil".

Nearly 40 bands, including local favorites Jon Cleary & the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Tank & The Bangas, The Deslondes and more will perform at the 12th annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo Festival along Bayou St. John May 19th - 21st.

  • Bayou Boogaloo partners with several community organizations, including the Positive Vibrations Foundation, the MotherShip Foundation, helping to reinvest in the neighborhood by planting oak trees along Bayou St. John, launching an anti-litter initiative and much more.
  • Additional community partners of the festival include Friends of Lafitte Greenway, Fest Cola, Upturn Arts, Faubourg St. John Neighborhood Association and the Morris Jeff Community School. 
  • Bayou Boogaloo features artists' work for purchase, local food and beverage vendors, a marketplace, two "Paddle Battle" kayak races during the festival and much more.
  • The festival reports an attendance of more than 35,000 annually and an overall economic impact of $739,000 to the local economy with over $100,000 raised for community partners since the festival began.

The 25th annual New Orleans Wine & Food Experience, a four-day ticketed event including Wine Dinners hosted by more than 30 New Orleans restaurants, the Royal Street Stroll, the Grand Tasting event featuring more than 175 wineries showcasing over 1,000 wines and 75 chefs serving culinary creations, among other events.

  • All proceeds from NOWFE go to causes supporting culinary education, including local food banks and culinary schools, and the event has raised more than $1.2 million for local non-profit organizations over the past 25 years.
  • In 2016, NOWFE welcomed 10,000 guests to the festival and produced an economic impact of $8 million.

New Orleans will host the 7th annual Bayou Country Superfest for the first time May 26th - 28th.

  • The lineup includes notable acts, such as Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts, Hank Williams, Jr. and many more.
  • The festival will open with an evening concert celebration at Champions Square on Friday, May 26th and will continue with two days of an outdoor Fan Fest and two nights of indoor performances by some of the biggest names in country music. 
  • Bayou Country Superfest previously took place at LSU Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, but due to stadium renovations, the three-day music festival will occur at the New Orleans Mercedes-Benz Superdome over Memorial Day weekend.

The 44th annual New Orleans Greek Festival will return to Bayou St. John May 26th - 28th for a weekend full of Greek food, live traditional Greek dancing, music and more.

  • The New Orleans Greek Festival invites visitors and locals to immerse themselves in a Greek community that has been in New Orleans for more than 150 years.

The Tremé 7th Ward Arts & Culture Festival will celebrate the history, traditions and culture of two of New Orleans' oldest and most notable neighborhoods May 26th - 28th.

  • The "T/7 Fest" will feature tours of historic sites within the two neighborhoods, community panels, the T/7 Baby Doll Bar Crawl, an arts and culture festival closing with the Elders Gospel Breakfast and Congo Square Secondline.

The 18th annual Wednesday at the Square 12-week Spring concert series has begun and will continue through May 24th, benefiting the Young Leadership Council.

  • Wednesday at the Square's music lineup features Kermit Ruffins and Marcia Ball, PJ Morton and many more.
  • The concert series occurs at Lafayette Square in the Central Business District of New Orleans, and entry is free and open to the public.

The 5th annual Jazz in the Park concert series has returned to Armstrong Park for free outdoor live concerts, local food and art vendors every Thursday evening through June 1st.

  • Jazz in the Park is celebrating its 5th year of Spring concert series this year with headliners including the Honey Island Swamp Band and Hot 8 & Friends, Jon Cleary and the Absolute Monster Gentlemen, Robin Barnes and many more.
For a full list of festivals, visit our website.


Festigals, the first and only festival that inspires, connects and celebrates women while supporting causes important to their well-being, has unveiled the schedule of events for their 7th annual women-centric conference, June 22nd - 24th, featuring keynote speaker Colorado Rockies and Alvarado Construction owner Linda Alvarado.

  • Festigals features educational sessions, the Bodacious Bras for a Cause & Bloody Mary Mixer benefiting the Cancer Association of Greater New Orleans and Breastoration, two local agencies that provide support for women during cancer treatment and recovery, as well as the Stiletto Stroll Women's Second-Line Parade among several other events.

French Quarter Festivals, Inc. has announced historic outcomes from their 34th annual French Quarter Festival presented by Chevron.

  • The festival reports an attendance of more than 700,000 in attendance.
  • French Quarter Festival attributes a 60 percent growth in attendance on opening day to local musician, Aaron Neville's festival debut, a record-breaking 44 new artists and the launch of a new stage.
  • French Quarter Festivals, Inc. reports an economic impact of nearly $190 million from the festival.


The Ace Hotel New Orleans has been included in Condé Nast Traveler's 2017 Hot List.

  • The Hot List includes the world's 75 best new hotels that have opened their doors in the last year according to Condé Nast Traveler's editors and contributors.


Several New Orleans chefs were recipients of 2017 James Beard Awards earlier this week, including: Shaya's chef de cuisine, Zachary Engel as Rising Star Chef of the Year; Herbsaint's Rebecca Wilcomb as Best Chef: South; and Chris Hannah of Arnaud's French 75 Bar received the award for Outstanding Bar Program.

  • Wilcomb, Engel and Hannah were among 11 New Orleans chefs, bars and restaurants named finalists for this year's James Beard Awards.

DTB, which stands for "Down the Bayou," has recently opened in the Carrollton neighborhood of New Orleans featuring modern interpretations of Southern Louisiana's coastal cuisine including menu items such as banana beignets with bacon, crawfish pie benedict and mushroom boudin balls.

  • DTB Chef, Carl Schaubhut, is an alum of a handful of Commander's Palace restaurants.

Emeril's Delmonico was recently named a recipient of the TripExpert Expert's Choice Award and Best of New Orleans Award which recognize the best restaurants around the world and in New Orleans based on reviews from journalists and professional travel writers.

Chef Nina Compton of Compère Lapin was recently named one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs as a part of their list that celebrates America's most brilliant, up-and-coming chefs.


Royal Caribbean International will return to New Orleans after a three-year hiatus with the Vision of the Seas ship sailing 7-night itineraries to destinations across the Bahamas and the Yucatan Peninsula.

  • This ship will relocate to the Port of New Orleans for the 2018 winter cruise season, beginning December 15th, 2018.


TripAdvisor Rentals has recently named New Orleans one of their "Top Value Cities for an Epic Getaway" as a part of their Spring list of affordable city trips for groups.

Southern Living has named New Orleans one of the "South's Best Cities" in their first annual "South's Best" Awards, which are voted on by more than 22,000 readers of the publication.

  • New Orleans was featured among Charleston, Nashville and Savannah to name a few.

For a full list awards, click here.


British Airways has begun nonstop service from London to New Orleans four days per week, and announced that starting October 30th, 2017, the service will increase to five times per week.

  • This new, international, nonstop flight will depart from London-Heathrow Airport and fly to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, connecting New Orleans to more than 130 destinations and beyond. 
  • This is the first time in over 20 years that New Orleans has had a direct flight to Europe.

The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has announced an expansion to the plans for the new terminal, currently under construction, bringing the total number of gates from 30 to 35. The plans include a 2,190-car parking garage, a central utility plan and a ground transportation area.

  • The new terminal is now set to open in February 2019.
  • The five-gate expansion and new opening date comes as the airport has exceeded all passenger enplanement targets and added new international airlift to Europe and South America.

The airport has also added numerous new flights:

United Airlines has announced year-round service for flights to New Orleans from San Francisco International Airport, beginning on June 8th, 2017.

Alaska Airlines has announced a daily, nonstop flight from San Francisco to New Orleans beginning September 21st, 2017.

Allegiant Airlines

  • One twice-weekly departure to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport began in February of 2017.
  • Nonstop flights from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina to New Orleans began on February 16th, 2017.

Southwest Airlines

  • The airport's largest carrier began seasonal service from Raleigh-Durham Airport and John Glenn Columbus International Airport on April 30th, 2017.
  • Southwest flights represent over 35% of all flights from MSY with an average of 54 flights each day to 22 non-stop destinations. With these two new flights, Southwest increases their market share in New Orleans and helps to improve total non-stop destinations from New Orleans to 60.


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

    Collision | May 2nd - 4th

    • America's fastest growing tech conference welcomes thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, CEOs and innovators to New Orleans.
    • The nearly 300 speakers slated to present at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center include co-founder of Reddit, Alexis Ohanian; actress and founder of The Honest Company, Jessica Alba; musician and philanthropist, Wyclef Jean and NFL player and entrepreneur, Terrell Owens. This roster of incredible speakers cover nearly every industry. 
    • Projected attendance: 18,000

    Penton Media Waste Expo | May 9th -11th

    • WasteExpo brings together all sizes of waste management companies to network with nearly 8,000 motivated buyers and connect with industry decision maker.
    • Projected attendance: 13,000


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    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 Chicago, Louisville, KY, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil and China.. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrates its 57th anniversary in 2017. For more information, please visit;;

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