New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau Compiles ‘What's New’ In November 2015
NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana, released a list of “What’s New” in the New Orleans’ Hospitality Industry for November 2015:
• Readers of Condé Nast Traveler ranked New Orleans one of the “Best Big Cities in the U.S.” in the magazine’s annual Reader’s Choice Awards, a 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, which has been divided into domestic and international lists this year.
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 a TripAdvisor study, 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. Only Seattle and Chicago ranked higher.
New Orleans experienced record tourism growth in 2014 welcoming 9.52 million visitors who spent more than $6.81 billion, the highest visitor spending in the city’s history.
• New Orleans Steamboat Company and Gray Line Tours have announced the construction of a new Mississippi riverboat for New Orleans. The new 600-passenger boat will complement the Steamboat Natchez, offering harbor cruises, dinner cruises and private charters beginning in 2017.
New Orleans Steamboat Company’s announcement follows Viking River Cruise’s commitment to launch two new luxury riverboats on the Mississippi River in New Orleans in 2017, making New Orleans Viking’s first homeport in North America.
Cruising from New Orleans has become increasingly popular, and the industry is experiencing a boom: American Cruise Lines added a second riverboat to its river cruise offerings from New Orleans in April 2015, and Carnival Cruise Lines will expand its capacity in New Orleans by replacing the Carnival Triumph with the Carnival Elation in April 2016.
• The Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences has begun a new phase in the $360 million redevelopment of New Orleans’ historic World Trade Center building at 2 Canal Street. The development will bring 350 luxury hotel rooms and 76 condos to the downtown area.
The Four Seasons Hotel is one of the largest real estate investments in New Orleans’ history and will bring more than 400 full-time jobs to the city after construction is completed.
The Four Seasons redevelopment of World Trade Center joins a series of revitalizations along the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans. The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center is embarking on a 47-acre Convention Center District Development Project to repurpose unutilized riverfront property, which will include a new “headquarters” hotel, a linear park, outdoor entertainment, arts and cultural venues and new retail and housing options.
UPCOMING EVENTS AND DEVELOPMENTS
• The ninth annual Central City Festival will take over Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard on Saturday, November 7 to celebrate the culture of New Orleans’ Central City neighborhood.
Festivalgoers can enjoy the sounds of New Orleans music, ranging from bounce to gospel and traditional second lines. The festival will also feature local food trucks and food vendors, a cooking demonstration, arts and crafts vendors and more.
Central City’s Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard has experienced a boom in recent years, with new restaurants, venues and museums opening along the avenue in rapid succession. Acclaimed newcomers like the Southern Food and Beverage Museum and the People’s Health New Orleans Jazz Market have both helped to ignite a renaissance along one of New Orleans’ historic avenues.
• The Tremé Creole Gumbo Festival will return to historic Tremé neighborhood November 14-15, 2015 and will feature a smorgasbord of New Orleans’ signature dish for festivalgoers to taste.
This free local favorite festival features performances by local musicians, including jazz and R&B artists.
Don’t miss the festival’s annual Vegan Gumbo Contest, which offers vegans and vegetarians a chance to get in on the gumbo fun.
• Oak Street Poboy Festival will take over Oak Street in New Orleans’ Riverbend neighborhood on November 22, 2015 and will feature both traditional and inspired versions of the poboy as well as live music at three stages.
Attendees can even vote for their favorite poboys in various categories, such as “Best Oyster” or “Best Specialty Seafood.”
• Formerly New Orleans Fringe Festival, faux/real New Orleans celebrates the creative work of artists in theater, literature, food and drink November 4-22, 2015.
Participants can attend performances, readings, tastings and parties across the city during the festival’s three-week reign.
New Orleans has long been home to a fringe scene and is recognized for its offbeat culture, most recently being named the number one “Quirkiest City in America” by Travel + Leisure in March 2015.
• 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 across 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 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 Dome and onto the field on December 18, with a free concert in Champions Square after the run.
Established in 2001, this nationally televised college football game has become a mainstay of the New Orleans sports scene, generating an estimated economic impact of $25 million annually.
New Orleans continues to garner international attention as a world-class destination. Recent honors include:
• One of the “Best Big Cities in the U.S.” by Condé Nast Traveler in October 2015
• One of the “World’s Friendliest Cities” by Travel + Leisure in August 2015
• The number two “World’s Best City” in the U.S. and Canada by Travel + Leisure in August 2015
• The number one “America’s Best Cities for Festivals” by Travel + Leisure in July 2015
• The number one “Top Ten Cities for Creatives” by SmartAsset.com in July 2015
Louis Armstrong International Airport, the fastest growing airport in the U.S. will begin construction on a new terminal facility to be completed in 2018 and has added a variety of new flights, including:
• GLO (Three new daily nonstop departures to Little Rock, Memphis and Shreveport, beginning November 2015)
• Spirit Airlines (One new daily departure to Las Vegas, beginning November 13, 2015)
• Copa Airlines (One new nonstop departure to Panama four times weekly, June 24, 2015)
• Southwest Airlines (One new daily departure to Oakland, June 2015)
• Silver Airways (Two new daily nonstop departures to Birmingham and one new daily nonstop departure to Pensacola, June 16, 2015)
MEETINGS AND CONVENTIONS
Meetings (3,000 or more in attendance) include:
• National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) Annual National Convention | November 12-14
The NCSS Annual National Convention is the nation’s largest social studies education professional development conference.
Projected attendance: 4,500
• Athletic Business Conference & Expo | November 17-21
The Athletic Business Conference & Expo is a premier educational event and trade show for athletic, fitness and recreation professionals.
Projected attendance: 3,800
• Association for Career & Technical Education (ACTE) CareerTech Vision Conference| November 19-22
ACTE’s CareerTech Expo hosts one of the largest and most interactive career and technical education exhibit areas in the nation. With more than 200 exhibits and hundreds of industry representatives on hand, you’ll be surrounded by innovative tech solutions to help you prepare your students for success in their hands-on learning.
Projected attendance: 3,500
For a full list of conventions
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 their 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.