NOCVB: What’s New In New Orleans – April 2017

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau released the following update on the New Orleans hospitality industry for April 2017:



• 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.



• British Airways has begun nonstop service from London to New Orleans four days per week, and announced that starting Oct. 30, 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 3, through Oct. 4.


• 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 Feb. 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 34th annual French Quarter Festival, the largest showcase of Louisiana music in the world, will bring music to six stages scattered across the French Quarter April 6 – 9.

         The 2017 lineup features festival debut headliner, Aaron Neville, as well as Ellis Marsalis, Little Freddie King, Kermit Ruffins, Irma Thomas, The Honey Island Swamp Band and many more.

         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 will include more than 60 of New Orleans’ finest restaurants throughout the festival.

         French Quarter Festival, Inc. reports an economic impact of approximately $190 million generated from the festival each year.


• The acclaimed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival begins April 28 – 30 and continues the following weekend, May 4 – 7 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 24 – 30, 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 24, benefiting 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 1.

         Jazz in the Park is celebrating its 5th year of the spring concert series 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 April 15 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.

         View a full list of festivals 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 seven 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 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 21 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 10 Best 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 7 – Oct. 8 in Jim Steg: New Work.

         Also on view from April 7 – Oct. 8, 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 10. The ticketed event will offer special pricing and programs for Louisiana residents throughout the Tricentennial.



• 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 percent 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 8.

• Alaska Airlines has announced a daily, non-stop flight from San Francisco to New Orleans beginning Sept. 21.

• 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 Feb. 16.

• Southwest Airlines

         The airport’s largest carrier will begin seasonal service from Raleigh-Durham Airport and John Glenn Columbus International Airport on April 30.

         Southwest flights represent over 35 percent 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.



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

• The New Orleans Dental Conference (NODC) and LDA Annual Session | April 6 – 8

         The New Orleans Dental Conference and LDA Annual Session is an annual convention, planned by a host of volunteer dentists from both the New Orleans and Louisiana Dental Associations. Continuing dental education sessions, nationally-recognized speakers, courses, workshops and more will all be available to attendees over this three-day conference.

         Projected attendance: 3,500

• The Latin Expo Group North American Tire & Retreat Expo | April 19 -21

         The North American Tire & Retread Expo is the premier event for tire, tire retread and related company industry leaders hoping to network and meet new distributors for their products.

         Projected attendance: 5,000

• The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) Convention & Exposition | April 22 – 27

         The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries event will bring together equipment and service providers to the scrap recycling industry for educations sessions, entertainment and unique networking opportunities.

         Projected attendance: 5,300

• American Association of Endodontists AAE17 | April 26 – 29

         The American Association of Endodontists meeting will bring together industry specialists in saving teeth for continuing education, networking amongst exhibitors and attendees and special events with keynote speakers.

         Projected attendance: 3,500


         For more information


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