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What's New in New Orleans

Hospitality Industry - April 2017


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.
  • In addition to British Airways, Condor Airlines will begin one new twice-weekly departure from Frankfurt, Germany to New Orleans on May 3rd, 2017 through October 4th, 2017.

New Orleans has broken tourism records by welcoming 10.45 million visitors and $7.41 billion in visitor spending to the city in 2016.

  • Visitor spending increased by 5.1 percent compared to the visitor spending record set in 2015.
  • Visitation to New Orleans in 2016 was the highest since 2004 and increased by 6.9 percent compared to 2015.

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 acclaimed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival begins April 28th - 30th and continues the following weekend, May 4th - 7th 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.
  • Each year, Jazz Fest attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors and has an economic impact of over $350 million.

The annual Zurich Classic of New Orleans, part of the PGA Tournament Circuit, will return to TPC Louisiana golf course April 24th-30th, welcoming top golf competitors and fans to the Crescent City.

  • Players in the 2017 Zurich Classic include Bubba Watson, Justin Thomas, Jason Day, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose and more.
  • The Zurich Classic of New Orleans is televised in more than 224 countries and territories.
  • The tournament reports a generated spending of more than $40 million within the local economy.
  • The annual Wednesday at the Square 12-week Spring concert series has begun and will continue through May 24th, benefitting the Young Leadership Council.

Wednesday at the Square's music lineup features Jon Cleary, Flow Tribe and Robin Barnes and many more, as well as local restaurant and drink vendors and an artist village.

  • The concert series occurs at Lafayette Square in the Central Business District, and entry is free and open to the public.

The 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, Kermit Ruffins and Glen David Andrews and the Preservation Hall All Stars and many more.  

The 39th Annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Crescent City Classic 10k is Saturday, April 15th beginning in Downtown New Orleans in front of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and running through the French Quarter then down Esplanade Avenue to the finish line in New Orleans City Park.

  • This 10-kilometer race hosted approximately 25,000 participants in 2016, and was recently named Louisiana's Best Running and Cycling Race by Compression + Design, an online resource for runners, cyclists and fitness enthusiasts.


    For a full list of festivals, click here.


    DoubleTree by Hilton New Orleans has unveiled a $25 million renovation to its guest rooms, lobby, pool and meeting space.

    • The renovation features 367 guestrooms, an updated lobby and 16,000 square feet of flexible meeting space overlooking the city.

    The Wyndham Garden Hotel has opened in New Orleans East as the first full-service hotel with a conference center and restaurant to open in New Orleans East since Hurricane Katrina.

    • The hotel is home to 175 rooms with 7 suites, a conference center and banquet space for meetings and events hosting up to 140 people and the Bistro Noveau Restaurant and Lounge serving three meals per day.

    The Pontchartrain Hotel was recently named one of Travel + Leisure's Best New Hotels in the World as a part of their annual It List.

    • The Pontchartrain Hotel was originally opened in 1927 on St. Charles Avenue and was restored in June 2016, including the restoration of the iconic Caribbean Room, Silver Whistle Coffee Shop, the Bayou Bar and the Hot Tin Rooftop bar by the Besh Restaurant Group.


    Compère Lapin's Chef/Co-Owner, Nina Compton, has been named one of Food & Wine Magazine's Best New Chefs 2017 and is the only New Orleans chef listed.

    • This announcement is on the heels of Chef Nina Compton's recent nomination as a James Beard Awards 2017 "Best Chef South" finalist.
    • Compère Lapin opened in the Warehouse District of New Orleans in 2015 after Chef Nina Compton competed on Bravo's Top Chef when it was taped in New Orleans. The restaurant boasts a Caribbean, French and Italian-inspired menu with New Orleans flare.

    Trinity has introduced weekend brunch, available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

    • Chef Michael Isolani's brunch menu boasts dishes with multiple cultural influences and New Orleans fare that guests can now enjoy on the weekends.
    • Trinity opened in the French Quarter in 2016, featuring a menu that showcases the flavors, elements, and techniques that embody modern New Orleanian cuisine.

    The Country Club recently unveiled extensive renovations including an updated menu, changes to the interior and exterior and a new executive chef, Chris Barbato.

    • Chef Barbato formerly served as chef de cuisine at Commander's Palace.
    • The Bywater neighborhood has been home to The Country Club for 40 years, offering thoughtfully-prepared cuisine and drinks both inside the parlor rooms, on the veranda or by the pool.

    Cavan has announced that Chef Nathan Richard, former executive chef at Kingfish, will take over as executive chef of their kitchen.

    • Chef Richard has garnered national attention for his unique approach to traditional Cajun flavors.
    • Cavan opened last year in a Garden District mansion on Magazine Street, originally built in 1883, featuring a dining-room style atmosphere and a Coastal American menu.


    New Orleans City Park and Bayou District Foundation have announced that the new Bayou Oaks Golf Course will open on Friday, April 21st at 12:30 p.m.

    • The 18-hole golf course is home to 46 bunkers, multiple tee locations and is a par 72 course designed to accommodate golfers from amateur to professional levels.

    The Audubon Zoo and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas were named among winners of USA Today's 10Best Readers' Choice travel awards for 2017 Best U.S. Aquariums and 2017 Best U.S. Zoos.

    The New Orleans Museum of Art has announced their Spring exhibitions:

    • Works celebrating the life-spanning accomplishments of printmaker, war veteran, and professor Jim Steg will be on view from April 7th - October 8th, 2017 in Jim Steg: New Work.
    • Also on view from April 7th - October 8th, 2017, Regina Scully | Japanese Landscape: Inner Journeys, paintings from throughout the artist's career will be showcased with a selection of Japanese works from the museum's permanent collection. This exhibit will highlight the apparent, yet unintentional, stylistic coincidences between Scully's 18th century art and 19th century Asian art.

    The multimedia, multi-sensory, jazz dinner-show, "Creole, of Course" presented by Centerplate has found a home at the Historic Carver Theater.

    • Centerplate has created this interactive dinner-show to provide an authentic experience centered around food that helps explain why New Orleans is so unique.
    • The award-winning show will run two nights a week, Wednesdays and Thursdays beginning May 10th, 2017. The ticketed event will offer special pricing and programs for Louisiana residents throughout the Tricentennial.


    • Expedia Viewfinder has named New Orleans one of the "Most Creative Places in America" as a part of their list of America's Most Artistic Towns.
    • TripAdvisor Vacation Rentals has recently featured New Orleans on its list of romantic destinations for Valentine's Day Travel Ideas in the Most Romantic Cities.


    For a full list awards, click here.


    The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport announced a new all-time record for the total number of passengers served in 2016.

    • A total of 11,139,421 passengers were served in 2016, representing a 4.4% increase over the prior record set in 2015 when the Airport exceeded ten million passengers for the first time in its history.

    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, non-stop 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 will begin 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.