Operations

Convention Business Starting to Come Back to New Orleans

Posted on April 18, 2007 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

NEW ORLEANS — Visitor numbers to New Orleans returned to pre-Hurricane Katrina levels for the first time in March. The number of meetings and convention visitors to the city reached 83,000, 10,000 more than the March prior to the hurricane in August 2005.

The city is launching a new $5 million advertising campaign designed to lure travelers back to the “Crescent City,” and a new Internet marketing strategy is being created. Another publicity boost is that power couple Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie recently bought an eight-bedroom house in New Orleans. Pitt has just completed filming “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” in the city. Co-starring Cate Blanchett and with a budget of $150 million, it is the most expensive film to have been shot in the city.

A new city-assisted evacuation plan was completed recently, giving the city’s mayor powers to order a mandatory evacuation 30 hours before hurricane winds begin. More than $1 billion in public money is being put forward to attract private investment in rebuilding work across 17 redevelopment zones. While many outlying neighborhoods were left devastated by the worst natural disaster in U.S. history, tourist areas such as the famous French Quarter and the Warehouse Arts District were largely untouched.

As hotels, restaurants, and bars suffered a post-Katrina visitor slump, many spent time improving their facilities, according to Stephen Perry, president of the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. “A lot of hotels took business disruption insurance and upgraded, as a result we have the freshest hotel product in 20 years,” he said. “The tourism industry and cultural economy has led the recovery, that is the heart and soul of the city, and yet internationally there is not the awareness of the positive recovery.”

Yet, despite the successes, the city's convention and visitors bureau is still dealing with cancellations and the perception that the city is unsafe for meetings. For example, the Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association cancelled its November 2009 convention at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. According to an article in The Times-Picayune, the association cited the city's crime rate and its problems recovering from Hurricane Katrina as the reasons for canceling.

This bit of bad news comes right after the city successfully hosted two major conventions: the Healthcare Information Management Systems Society, which brought close to 25,000 delegates to the city in February, and the American College of Cardiology, which brought 30,000 people to New Orleans in March. Later this month, the city hosts 30,000 delegates from the Risk and Insurance Management Society.

Sources: TravelMole.com & MeetingsNet.com

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Luxury Line Run Motorcoach Service Adds Another Texas Route

Vonlane, which calls itself a private jet on wheels, now connects Austin and Fort Worth.

Uber Loses License To Operate In London

The TNC's license will expire Sept. 30 as it claims to have some 3.5 million users and about 40,000 drivers in the city.

Transportation Future, Driverless Vehicles Hot Topics At BusCon 2017

The show featured nearly 135 exhibitors and close to 60 vehicles, and some of the latest technologies available to operators.

Taxi Drivers, Chauffeurs More Likely To Die From Violence

CDC data shows they are the most likely workers to die on the job because of violent crime risks.

Uber Launches Internal Probe On Asia Bribery Allegations

The TNC sure has a lot of problems to deal with.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blog

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - September 2017 $12.95 MOTORCOACH / BUS ISSUE COVER STORY: * Irizar Racks Up A Good Rookie Year * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close