What's New in New Orleans

What's New in New Orleans' Hospitality Industry


  • Readers of Condé Nast Traveler have ranked New Orleans one of the "Best Big Cities in the U.S." in the magazine's annual Reader's Choice Awards, an online survey that rates destinations, hotels, airports, cruise lines and more.
    • New Orleans was ranked among major U.S. cities like New York, San Francisco and Washington D.C., while placing ahead of other cultural destinations like Austin and Seattle. 
    • In 2014 New Orleans was ranked one of the "Top 25 Cities in the World" on Condé Nast Traveler's combined list of national and international destinations. Because of the survey's popularity last year, the magazine split the overall list into several separate categories, including the "Best Big Cities in the U.S.," for 2015's survey. 
    • This award follows other accolades for New Orleans this year, including being named the number two "World's Best City" in the U.S. and Canada by Travel + Leisure, the number one "U.S. City for Business Travelers" by Condé Nast Traveler, one of the "Friendliest Cities in America" by Travel + Leisure and more.
  • In early 2016, Marriott's Moxy Hotel will debut with 107 guestrooms in the former Quality Inn and Suites on O'Keefe Avenue in New Orleans' Business District. 
    • The Moxy brand caters to millennial travelers, featuring high tech lounges, grab-and-go food kiosks, efficiently sized rooms and affordable rates. 
    • The first and only currently open Moxy hotel is located in Milan, Italy. Moxy's U.S. debut in 2016 will include New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Seattle in addition to New Orleans. 
  • Besh Restaurant Group will reopen the iconic Caribbean Room restaurant and direct food and beverage operations in Ponchartrain Hotel on St. Charles Avenue in 2016 when the hotel reopens after a $10 million renovation. 
    • Opened in 1948, the Caribbean Room was considered one of the most distinguished restaurants in New Orleans and was famous for dishes such as Trout Eugene and Crabmeat Remick. 
    • In addition to the Caribbean Room, Besh Restaurant Group will reopen the hotel's Silver Whistle coffee shop and the Bayou bar. The Silver Whistle will feature counter service and a ten-top table reminiscent of the original coffee shop, while the Bayou Bar will offer a casual tavern-style ambiance. 
    • In the coveted rooftop space of the hotel, Besh Restaurant Group will open a new rooftop bar featuring a 270-degree view of the Mississippi River and downtown New Orleans. 
    • The Ponchartrain Hotel originally opened in 1927 and attracted such icons as Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, Truman Capote and Tennesee Williams in its heyday. The hotel is set to reopen in 2016. 
  • The Lafitte Greenway, a 2.6 mile bicycle and pedestrian trail connecting Armstrong Park in the Tremé neighborhood to City Park in Mid-City has opened to the public. 
    • This $9.1 million project has transformed one of the city's most historic transportation corridors, formerly a canal and then a railroad, into a linear park. 
    • The Greenway includes a 12-foot asphalt path for cyclists and pedestrians, more than 500 shade trees, and LED energy-efficient lighting along the entire trail. 
  • Site Selection magazine has named Louisiana number four in the "Top State Business Climate Rankings," the magazine's annual list takes into account actual project successes and high favorability for business. 
    • This is Louisiana's sixth consecutive Top 10 ranking in Site Selection's annual report, reinforcing the state's reputation as a top location for business investment and job creation. 
  • In a TripAdvisor study released in October 2015, New Orleans was named among the top five U.S. cities experiencing the most growth in international visitation searches, with searches for New Orleans on the site yielding a 20 percent increase from international travelers year over year. 
    • New Orleans was also ranked in the top three "U.S. Cities with the Highest Average Accommodation Review Ratings," with an average accommodation rating of 4.19 out of five on TripAdvisor. Only Seattle and Chicago ranked higher.
    • In 2014 New Orleans welcomed 9.52 million visitors who spent more than $6.81 billion, the highest visitor spending in the city's history.



      • December in New Orleans brings Christmas New Orleans Style, a month of holiday celebration that includes light displays, festivals, concerts and more.
        • Enjoy light displays throughout 25 acres of New Orleans City Park, one of the largest urban parks in the country, during Celebration in the Oaks
        • NOLA ChristmasFest takes over the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center for 10 days during the month of December, featuring an indoor ice skating rink, carnival rides, holiday events and more. 
        • In Creole tradition, restaurants across the city present Reveillon dinners during the month of December, with modern takes on the traditional nineteenth century holiday feasts. Restaurants have also added a cocktail component to the dinners, serving up holiday-themed cocktails during the holiday season. 
        • Throughout the month of December, travelers can enjoy special rates for hotel rooms across New Orleans as well as for bed and breakfasts. 
      • The U.S. Women's National Team will play China PR for the final match of the 10-game post-Women's World Cup Victory Tour on December 16, 2015 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 
        • This nationally-televised soccer event will be a rematch of the quarterfinal of the 2015 Women's World Cup, which was a 1-0 win for the USA against China.
        • The U.S. Women's team has played in New Orleans just once before, with a match at Tad Gormley Stadium in 2003. 
      • The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will bring college football to the Big Easy on December 19, with a match between teams in the Sun Belt Conference and Conference USA. 
        • The festivities kick off with the "Dashing through the Dome" fun run around the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome and onto the field on December 18, with a free concert in Champions Square after the run.
      • New Year's Eve in New Orleans brings big festivities to ring in the New Year, including a countdown on the Mississippi River with free live music and one of the nation's top fireworks displays.
        • Beginning at 9:30 p.m., revelers can gather on Decatur Street in front of Jax Brewery to enjoy free performances by Big Sam's Funky Nation and Terrance Simien + the Zydeco Experience.
        • At 11:45 p.m. the countdown to midnight will begin. When the clock strikes 12:00, a 25-foot fleur de lis will drop from the roof of Jax Brewery, and the Symphony in the Sky fireworks display over the river will begin. 
        • New Orleans was named one of the "20 Best Places to Celebrate New Year's" by Fodor's Travel in November 2015. 
      • On January 1, 2016 the 82nd annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic will return to New Orleans and is one of a series of bowl games leading up to the College Football National Championship on January 11.
        • On December 30th and 31st, fans can head to the free Allstate Fan Fest in the Jax Brewery Parking lot off Decatur Street for two days of revelry, including school pep rallies, football-themed activities and free musical performances.
        • On January 1, college football fans can enjoy the Allstate Sugar Bowl Fan Jam, a first-rate tailgate party in Champions Square next to the Mercedes-Benz Super Dome featuring food, entertainment and interactive games. 
        • The game will begin at 7:30 p.m. on January 1st, pitting top teams from the Southeastern Conference (SEC) and Big 12 Conference against one another. 
      • Nuit Belge, a premier event pairing Belgian beers with dishes prepared by local chefs, will head to Generations Hall in New Orleans February 26, 2016. 
        • Fourteen restaurants, including Shaya, Emeril's New Orleans, Cochon Butcher and Primitivo, will create dishes to be paired with acclaimed Belgian beers. 
        • The event debuted to such success in Nashville in 2015 that the event is going on tour, visiting Atlanta and Charleston in addition to Nashville and New Orleans.

        For a full list of festivals, click here.



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


        Louis Armstrong International Airport, the fastest growing airport in the U.S. will receive a new airport in 2018 and has added a variety of new flights, including:

        • Allegiant (One new twice weekly departure to Pittsburgh, beginning February 19, 2016)
        • Spirit Airlines (One new daily flight to Los Angeles, beginning April 14, 2016 and one new daily departure to Las Vegas, November 2015)
        • GLO (Three new daily nonstop departures to Little Rock, Memphis and Shreveport, beginning November 2015)
        • Copa Airlines (One new nonstop departure to Panama four times weekly, June 24, 2015)
        • Southwest Airlines (One new daily departure to Oakland, CA, June 2015) 
        • Silver Airways (Two new daily nonstop departures to Birmingham, AL and one new daily nonstop departure to Pensacola, FL, June 16, 2015)



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

        • American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP): 50th ASHP Midyear Clinical Meeting and Exhibition | December 6-10
          • ASHP's Midyear Clinical Meeting is the largest gathering of pharmacists and the longest running clinical meeting in the world. This year's meeting will be attended by more than 20,000 pharmacy professionals from nearly 100 countries. For five decades, it has provided pharmacy practitioners a value-packed venue for updating their knowledge, networking with colleagues, enhancing their skills and learning about the latest products and innovations.
          • Projected attendance: 22,000

        For a full list of conventions, click here.



        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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