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What's New in New Orleans

 What's New in New Orleans' Hospitality Industry - February 2017 


  • New Orleans will welcome the 66th NBA All-Star Game February 17th- 19th, 2017 to the Smoothie King Center.
    • The 2017 NBA All-Star Weekend falls during the Mardi Gras season, allowing fans to experience both the All-Star Game events and the excitement of Mardi Gras.
    • This will mark the third time for New Orleans to host the league's annual midseason celebration, having previously hosted the event in 2008 and 2014.

  • The Mardi Gras season kicked off on January 6th with King's Day and will continue through Mardi Gras Day on Tuesday, February 28th.
    • Carnival Season welcomes more than one million revelers to the streets of New Orleans, generating more than $840 million for the local economy each year.
    • The Krewe of Rex chose the colors of Mardi Gras in 1872, with purple representing justice, gold representing power and green representing faith.
    • More than 500,000 king cakes are sold each year in New Orleans between January 6th and Fat Tuesday, and another 50,000 are shipped out-of-state via overnight courier.
    • Many krewes are known for their unique handmade throws, such as the Krewe of Zulu's coconuts and the Krewe of Muses' shoes.
    • Renowned Mardi Gras expert Arthur Hardy's Mardi Gras Guide App, a smartphone and tablet version of his popular guide, is available for download and includes parade routes, a calendar, schedules of non-parading events and more.

  • The Humana Rock ‘n' Roll New Orleans Marathon will race through the Crescent City on February 4th and 5th, 2017.
    • Participants have the option of running a 5K on Saturday or a 10k, half marathon or full marathon on Sunday through the streets of downtown New Orleans, the French Quarter and New Orleans City Park and will run past live musical performances at every mile of the race.
    • The weekend of events kicks off with a Health & Fitness Expo at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on February 3rd and 4th.
    • After the Sunday races, runners can enjoy the Toyota Rock ‘n' Roll Concert Series, featuring musical performances by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Big Freedia and more.


      • The acclaimed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has announced an impressive lineup filled with both national and local live music acts for the weekends of April 28th- 30th and May 4th-7th, 2017 at the Fair Grounds Race Course
        • Headliners include Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Earth, Wind and Fire, Stevie Wonder, Maroon 5, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, Alabama Shakes, Usher and The Roots and many more.
        • New Orleans' own Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, The Meters, Aaron Neville, Irma Thomas, Dr. John and Harry Connick, Jr. will also headline the festival.

      • French Quarter Festival, Inc. has announced details regarding the 34th Annual French Quarter Festival, the largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world.
        • The 2017 lineup features festival debut headliner, Aaron Neville as well as Ellis Marsalis, Little Freddie King, the Bucktown Allstars, Kermit Ruffins, The Honey Island Swamp Band and many more.
        • French Quarter Festival will take place April 6th-9th, 2017 and will include more than 60 of New Orleans' finest restaurants at "The World's Largest Jazz Brunch".
        • More than 1,700 local musicians will perform on stages throughout the French Quarter, including over 20 new artists for the 2017 festival.
        • French Quarter Festival, Inc. reports an average economic impact of approximately $190 million generated from the fest.

      • The Idea Village has announced the dates and lineup of speakers and events for their 9th Annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week, which will take place March 19th- 24th, 2017.
        • The Idea Village is the globally-recognized leader in entrepreneurial development in New Orleans.
        • New Orleans Entrepreneur Week is a festival created to support local growing companies, entrepreneurs, community organizations, investors and students and to promote new thinking and new business in Louisiana.
        • NOEW 2017 will host nearly 100 speakers, panelists and special guests from companies including GE, Netflix, Rotten Tomatoes and more.

      • FestiGals has announced the dates of their 2017 New Orleans Girlfriend Getaway Weekend will be June 22nd- 24th, 2017 in New Orleans.
        • This three-day celebration created by women for women will feature personal and professional development, private tours, exclusive shopping, culinary adventures, a second-line parade and much more.


      • The New Orleans Museum of Art is hosting a new exhibition: "A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700's" open February 17th- May 21st, 2017.
        • NOMA is the sole venue in the United States presenting this exhibition of objects providing a glimpse into the pageantry, ceremony and extravagance of Venetian life in the 1700s.

      •  The National WWII Museum has opened its new Founders Plaza to create a formal entry to Museum Grounds.
        • The plaza spans along Andrew Higgins Drive between Camp and Magazine Streets, creating an impressive entryway to the institution's grounds, safe passage for guests and a pleasant setting for visitors to rest and reflect.


      • The American Sector Restaurant inside of the National WWII Museum has announced Chef Peter Page as the new Executive Chef, who will oversee the kitchen and catering operations.
        • The American Sector Restaurant has also hired a new Executive Sous Chef, Charles Hoffman.


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

      • New Orleans was ranked No. 2 among America's Most Charming Cities by Travel + Leisure.
      • Fox Sports has named New Orleans the number one Super Bowl Host City.
      • TripAdvisor recently named New Orleans one of the 20 Best Girlfriend Getaways You Can Take Without a Passport.
      • New Orleans was named one of 2016's Most Inspiring Cities by TravelBird.
      • Thrillist named New Orleans one of the Most Romantic Cities in America.

      For a full list awards, click here.


      • Construction is underway on a new terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, set to debut in 2018.
        • New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and the New Orleans Aviation Board have announced a five gate expansion of this project, bringing the total number of gates from 30 to 35.
        • This $826 million project will feature the approximately 820,000 square-foot terminal, a 2,200-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 added a variety of new flights:

      • British Airways will begin nonstop service from London to New Orleans on March 27, 2017.
        • This new international nonstop flight will depart four times per week from London Heathrow to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, connecting New Orleans to over 130 destinations in Europe and beyond.
      • Condor will begin one new twice-weekly departure from Frankfurt, Germany to New Orleans, on May 3rd, 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.

      • Choice Air launched year-round nonstop service from San Pedro Sula, Honduras to New Orleans which began on December 17th, 2016.

        • This new flight departs on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

      • JetBlue added daily, nonstop flights from Fort Lauderdale- Hollywood International Airport to New Orleans, which began on September 29th, 2016.
        • JetBlue is celebrating its 15th year flying to and from New Orleans.

      • Allegiant Airlines
        • One twice-weekly departure from Tulsa International Airport began May 26th, 2016.
        • One twice-weekly departure from Concord Regional Airport began November 18th, 2016.
        • One twice-weekly departure from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport will begin in February 2017.
        • Nonstop flights from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina to New Orleans will begin on February 16th, 2017.

      • GLO Airlines
        • Three times weekly departure from Huntsville International Airport began on September 30th, 2016.

      • Spirit Airlines has announced the addition of three new year-round connections to New Orleans, beginning May 25th, 2017.
        • Daily non-stop departure from Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
        • Daily non-stop departure from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.
        • Daily non-stop departure from Orlando International Airport.

      • Vacation Express has announced new seasonal, non-stop service from Freeport on Grand Bahama Island to New Orleans.
        • This service will depart weekly beginning May 27th, 2017 through June 26th, 2017.


      Meetings (1,000 or more in attendance) include:

      • KeHE Distributors Summer Selling Show | February 7th- 8th
        • KeHE's Summer Selling Show welcomes more than 700 exhibitors in the natural and organic, specialty and fresh food industry to experience hands-on displays, demonstrations and the chance to place orders on the spot.
        • Projected attendance: 1,800

      • The Biophysical Society Annual Meeting| February 11th- 14th
        • This dynamic event will bring together the leading scientists from across the globe to share their latest unpublished findings and to learn emerging techniques and applications through more than 500 speakers, over 900 daily poster presentations and much more.
        • Projected attendance: 6,800

      • Underwater Intervention | February 21st- 23rd
        • Underwater Invention unites the Association of Diving Contractors International and the ROV Committee of the Marine Technology Society for three days of industry education, multiple networking opportunities, and access to the top equipment and services providers in the commercial diving and ROV industries.
        • Projected attendance: 1,000

      •  PennWell Corporation Topsides, Platforms & Hulls Conference & Exhibition| February 21st- 23rd 
        • This conference is the the offshore industry's only event dedicated to the topsides, platforms and hulls for both deep and shallow water and will directly connect key decision makers and technical experts with those involved in the topsides industry.
        • Projected attendance: 2,000


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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 Washington, D.C., Chicago and four foreign countries. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrates its 56th anniversary in 2016.

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