NOCVB: What's New In New Orleans December 2016

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau released the following update about the hospitality industry in December 2016:
         New Orleans continues to garner national and international attention as a world-class destination.
         Recent honors include:
• 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.
• Condé Nast Traveler has named New Orleans the No. 5 Best Big City in the U.S. as a part of the publication’s Reader’s Choice Awards 2016.
• New Orleans’ Compère Lapin was named one Playboy’s Best Bars of 2016.
• New Orleans’ National WWII Museum was named #4 Museum in the U.S. and #11 Museum in the World by TripAdvisor’s Traveler’s Choice Awards 2016.
• One of the Top 25 Coastal Cities in the World by Chicago Line Cruises.
• New Orleans’ restaurants: Shaya and Brennan’s, included in Condé Nast Traveler Magazine’s Where in the World to Eat Awards 2016.
• New Orleans’ restaurants: GW Fins, Restaurant August and Shaya included in Forbes’ 100 Best Restaurants for Foodies in America 2016.
         View a full list awards here
• New Orleans will host the 2017 Bayou Country Superfest for the first time May 26 – 28.
         The lineup includes notable acts, such as Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert, Brooks & Dunn, Rascal Flatts, Hank Williams Jr. and many more.
         The festival will open with an evening concert celebration at Champions Square on Friday, May 26, and will continue with two days of an outdoor Fan Fest and two nights of indoor performances by some of the biggest names in country music. Tickets go on sale December 8.
         Bayou Country Superfest previously took place at LSU Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, but due to stadium renovations, the three-day music festival will occur at the New Orleans’ Mercedes-Benz Superdome over Memorial Day Weekend.
• December in New Orleans brings Christmas New Orleans Style, a month of holiday celebrations that include light presentations, festivals, caroling, concerts and more.
         Enjoy hundreds of thousands of lights on display across New Orleans City Park’s 25 acres of oak trees at Celebration in the Oaks, open until New Year’s Day.
         The New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center will host the Fourth Annual NOLA ChristmasFest occurring Dec. 16 -30, welcoming New Orleans’ only ice-skating rink, doubled in size from last year, a New Orleans-themed gingerbread house exhibit, a walk-though maze, carousel, and much 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 Papa Noel Hotel Rates for hotel rooms across New Orleans as well as for bed and breakfasts.
• New Orleans will be a featured destination in the 45th anniversary of Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2017 this New Year's Eve for the first-ever Central Time Zone countdown.
         The special will showcase coverage of live performances from the Allstate Fan Fest and interviews leading up to the midnight countdown and fleur-de-lis drop in Jackson Square.
• The release of the official publication of New Orleans' upcoming Tricentennial, New Orleans & The World: The Tricentennial Anthology, has been announced for Fall of 2017 by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation and the Louisiana Endowment for Humanities.
         New Orleans & The World will illuminate the role of the city in major events in U.S. and world history, the economic innovations and cultural expressions birthed in the city that impacted people around the globe, and the succeeding waves of new populations who redefined the city’s shape and society.
• New Orleans will welcome the inaugural Top Taco Festival, celebrating tacos, tequila and live entertainment at the Riverwalk’s Spanish Plaza in March 2017.
         The Top Taco Festival will benefit local foster care organization, One Heart NOLA.
         The addition of the Top Taco Festival contributes to an impressive list of more than 130 food, music and art festivals hosted yearly in New Orleans.
• The National WWII Museum will commemorate the 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor Dec. 6 -7 through a series of events that are free and open to the public.
         Events include a living history artifact display, a hands-on equipment, artifact and uniform exhibit, an aircraft carrier model display as well as a series of films and presentations by museum historians, veterans and their families.
• LUNA Fête 2016, the outdoor public art show that uses New Orleans' iconic landscape as a canvas, will begin on Wednesday, Dec. 7, running 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. nightly in Lafayette Square through Saturday, Dec. 10.
         LUNA Fête will feature illuminated installations, video-mapping projections, digital sculptures featuring a roster of international, national and local artists.
• The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl will welcome the University of Southern Mississippi and the University of Louisiana at Lafayette to the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on Dec. 17 accompanied by fan events, a 2-mile race through the dome, a sports series competition and more.
         In addition to the game, Steve Gleason will speak at the 2016 R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl Luncheon on Friday, Dec. 16. This is a ticketed event.
         Friday evening, Gin Blossoms and Better Than Ezra will headline a free concert in Champion’s Square.
• On Jan. 2, 2017, the 83rd annual Allstate Sugar Bowl Classic will welcome Auburn University, from the Southeastern Conference, and the University of Oklahoma, from the Big 12 Conference, to compete in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.
         While the bowl game is the highlight of the New Year festivities, the Allstate Sugar Bowl typically hosts a variety of other fun events, including: Fan Jam, Fan Fest, New Year’s Eve Parade and more.
         View a full list of events here
• The DoubleTree by Hilton New Orleans has announced plans for a $25 million renovation, slated to debut February 2017.
         The renovation will include an overhaul of the hotel’s 367 guest rooms, lobby and meeting space as well as the addition of a Grab-and-Go market and several modifications to help the hotel reduce its carbon footprint.
• The Windsor Court Hotel has announced the opening of Café Anglais, a new, on-the-go eatery with local French Truck coffee, an espresso machine, house-made pastries, salads, sandwiches, a variety of wines and much more.
         The concept of Café Anglais is to assist the many business travelers who visit the Windsor Court an easier option of quick and easy dining in the heart of Downtown New Orleans.
• Allegiant Airlines has announced the recent addition of non-stop flights from Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina to New Orleans beginning Feb. 16, 2017.
• Construction is underway on a new terminal at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, set to debut in 2018.
         This $826 million project will feature 30 gates, a 2,000-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:
• Choice Air has just announced year-round non-stop service to San Pedro Sula, Honduras from New Orleans beginning Dec. 17, 2016.
         This new flight will depart on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to Ramón Villeda Morales International Airport.
• JetBlue has begun daily, non-stop flights to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport from New Orleans.
         JetBlue is celebrating its 15th year flying to and from New Orleans.
• Allegiant
         One twice-weekly departure to Tulsa International Airport, May 26, 2016.
         One twice-weekly departure to Concord Regional Airport beginning November 18, 2016.
• Condor will begin one new twice-weekly departure to Frankfurt, Germany, beginning May 3, 2017.
         This will be New Orleans’ first nonstop flight to Europe since the 1980s and will connect New Orleans passengers to more than 120 other cities in the Eastern hemisphere 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.
• Branson AirExpress
         Return of seasonal air service four times weekly to Branson Airport, May 26 – Aug. 14, 2016.
• GLO Airlines
         Two seasonal weekly departures to Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport, June 24 – Sept. 5, 2016.
         Three times weekly departure to Huntsville International Airport beginning on Sept. 30, 2016.
         One new flight to Cleveland beginning Feb. 17, 2017.
         Meetings (1,000 or more in attendance) include:
• Zero to Three Annual Conference | Dec. 7 – 9
         Professionals working with toddlers and infants in the Early Childhood Education, Early Intervention, Mental Health, Early Head Start, Child Welfare, Parent Education and Pediatrics fields are invited to network and learn at Zero to Three’s Annual Conference 2016.
         Projected attendance: 1,800
• Restore America’s Estuaries and The Coastal Society’s National Summit | Dec. 11 – 13
         The National Summit will welcome restoration and coastal management communities for education and discussions that explore the issues facing our nation’s coasts and estuaries.
         Projected attendance: 1,200
         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.
         For more information



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