New Orleans CVB: What's New In May

NEW ORLEANS – The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau released the following announcements regarding what’s new this month in the hospitality industry in New Orleans:



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• The Port of New Orleans welcomed the Carnival Triumph, the city’s newest cruise ship, on April 4, 2016.

         The Carnival Triumph offers 4- and 5-day cruise itineraries from New Orleans and will bring a 34 percent increase in capacity to cruises from New Orleans.

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         Together the Carnival Dream, which offers 7-day cruises from New Orleans, and Carnival Triumph are expected to carry 450,000 passengers annually.


• Tujague’s, New Orleans’ second oldest dining institution, celebrates its 160th anniversary in 2016 and in celebration will offer a variety of special events and offerings.

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         Kicking off May 1, Tujague’s will offer an $18.56 three-course prix fixe lunch available Monday-Friday, and additional celebrations will include guest chef dinners, contests and more.

         The Southern Food and Beverage Museum will launch a special exhibit on Tujague’s in May, featuring artifacts and memorabilia from the restaurant.

         The restaurant will also be added to National Culinary Heritage Register, which honors historic establishments that have contributed significantly to the development of American foodways.


• New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) has launched its #HappyTuesday campaign, sharing what makes Tuesdays in New Orleans special for travelers in real time.

         After Buzzfeed named Tuesday the worst day of the week, NOTMC is aiming to change the day’s reputation, noting that Mardi Gras is also celebrated on a Tuesday and the city has a variety of regular early week events.

         As part of a campaign to encourage early to mid-week visitation to New Orleans, #HappyTuesday includes special prices, discounts and experiences for travelers who stay between Sunday and Wednesday. More than 50 hotels, restaurants and local attractions are participating.

         The campaign launched on Tuesday, March 29, with a live-response social media campaign in which local actor Bryan Batt, Mardi Gras Indian “Big Chief” David Montana and musician Dr. John responded to Twitter users complaining about Tuesdays with customized messages encouraging them to celebrate the day by planning a trip to New Orleans.


• Marriott Hotels’ Moxy New Orleans will debut in the Crescent City this summer as one of the first U.S. locations of the hip European hotel line. Moxy New Orleans will feature 108 keyless-entry rooms in New Orleans’ Central Business District.

         The hotel brand aims to appeal to millennial travelers with inviting lobbies, self-service grab and go, free Wi-Fi and the Moxy Digital Guestbook for streaming videos and pictures.

         The openings of the Moxy Tempe in March and the Moxy New Orleans are the brand’s first in the U.S.


• The historic Pontchartrain Hotel will reopen on St. Charles Avenue in June 2016.

         Originally opened in 1927, the hotel’s food and beverage program will be run by Besh Restaurant Group, and dining options will include the iconic Caribbean Room, Silver Whistle Coffee Shop, the Bayou Bar and a rooftop bar.




• New Orleans is home to two weekly concert series during the spring:


         Young Leadership Council’s Wednesdays at the Square concert series continues through May, bringing live music to Lafayette Square in the Central Business District every Wednesday evening.

         The annual Jazz in the Park concert series returns to Armstrong Park every Thursday evening April 15 through June 2. The first concert will take place on a Friday, but the remainder of the series will occur on Thursday evenings.


• The Jazz in the Park Treme Art & Music Festival will debut May 6-8, featuring two main stages of live music, marching bands, second lines, local food and crafts and more in Armstrong Park.


• The eleventh annual Bayou Boogaloo will return to Bayou St. John in New Orleans’ Mid City neighborhood May 20-22, featuring three days of family-friendly music and art.


• The New Orleans Wine and Food Experience will take over the French Quarter May 26-29, featuring food and wine seminars, Wine Dinners, the annual Royal Street Stroll presented by Rouses, Vinola, the Big Gateaux Show, a new Grand Tasting and much more.

         Exciting new events include a French Quarter “Cellar Strut” led by Sommelier Sara, a “Hong Kong Phoodie” exploration of the Hong Kong Food Market with Chef Phillip Lopez of Root and more.

         New seminars in 2016 include “Blind Ambition,” a blind taste test with America’s only blind chef Laura Martinez, “New World Oysters & Old World Wine” highlighting the modern oyster movement along the Gulf Coast and more.


• New Orleans Greek Festival returns to the Holy Trinity Cathedral overlooking Bayou St. John May 27-29, featuring Greek food, music and family fun.


• Festival season in New Orleans continues through June with a variety of local favorites:


         FestiGals, New Orleans’ premier girlfriend getaway weekend, will return to the JW Marriott July 28-30, 2016 for three days of authentic New Orleans experiences, including workshops, a Stiletto Stroll Second-Line Parade, the Bodacious Bras for a Cause Benefit and more.

         The 30th annual Creole Tomato Festival will take over New Orleans’ historic French market June 11-12, bringing a weekend of fresh tomatoes, food and live performances by Little Freddie King, Paul Sanchez and more at Crescent Park’s Mandeville Wharf.

         The Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival will return to Armstrong Park June 18-19 for a weekend of food and live music, including performances by Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Nathan and the Zydeco Cha Chas and more.


• Several signature New Orleans events experienced record-breaking attendance this spring:


         The acclaimed French Quarter Festival welcomed more than 760,000 attendees to the 2016 festival, the highest attendance in the event’s history.

         This year’s attendance marks a significant increase over 2015, which saw attendance reduced to 386,000 due to inclement weather.

         Festival vendors reported increases as well: Rouses sold more than 50,000 pounds of boiled crawfish, Abita served 675 kegs and 1,400 cases of beer and more than 42,000 daiquiris were sold.

         The eighth annual New Orleans Entrepreneur Week engaged 13,216 entrepreneurs, investors, professionals and more through 119 community events over eight days.

         The 2016 attendance marks a 24.9% increase over 2015.

         View a full list of festivals here.




• Chef Emeril Lagasse has appointed Chef Will Avelar as Chef de Cuisine of Meril, the celebrity chef’s fourth New Orleans restaurant slated to open in New Orleans’ Warehouse District later this year.

         Will Avelar joined the Emeril’s team in 2005 and has enjoyed positions at all of Emeril’s New Orleans restaurants, most recently serving as sous chef at Emeril’s Delmonico.




• The Ace Hotel New Orleans debuted on March 14 in a historic 1928 Art Deco building with 234 rooms.

         The hotel’s signature restaurant is Josephine Estelle, the brainchild of Memphis James Beard Award finalists Andy Ticer and Michael Hudman. Phillip Mariano, former chef de cuisine of Domenica, serves as executive chef of Josephine Estelle, blending flavors of the American South with Italian influences.

         The Ace Hotel New Orleans features its own music venue Three Keys with nightly performances and Alto, a rooftop garden with relaxed poolside dining and cocktails.

         The hotel also features Stumptown Coffee’s first café in the south, with a variety of cold brew options.


• The Catahoula Hotel debuted in New Orleans Central Business District on April 8, featuring 35 rooms in two 19th century buildings.

         The hotel features a coffee bar and a rooftop terrace serving tiki-inspired cocktails.

         The hotel’s café offers Peruvian dishes by Chef Dana Honn of local vegetarian restaurant Carmo, and the hotel is also home to a Pisco bar, featuring cocktails made with the Peruvian grape liquor.


• The Henry Howard Hotel has debuted in New Orleans’ Garden District, featuring 18 rooms housed in a historic mansion constructed in 1867.

         Named for the man who built the mansion, the Henry Howard Hotel was purchased by the Fitzgerald Hotel Group in 2015 and was reimagined as a luxury boutique hotel.



         New Orleans continues to garner international attention as a world-class destination. Recent honors include:


• One of the “Best Places to Travel in March” by Travel + Leisure

• A “2016 Family Travelers’ Rising Star Destination” by

• One of the “10 American Cities with the Coolest Architecture” by

• One of the “Best Cities in North America” by readers of Travel + Leisure

• One of the “Top 28 Hot Destinations of 2016” by



• Construction has begun 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 also added a variety of new flights:


• JetBlue (One new daily departure to Fort-Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, beginning September 29, 2016)

• Branson AirExpress (Return of seasonal air service four times weekly to Branson Airport, May 26-August 14, 2016)

• Allegiant (One new twice weekly departure to Pittsburgh, February 19, 2016)

• Allegiant (two new twice-weekly flights to Jacksonville and St. Petersburg, Florida, January 2016)

• Spirit Airlines (One new daily flight to Los Angeles, beginning April 14, 2016)



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


• Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) XPONENTIAL | May 2-6

         The AUVSI is the world's largest nonprofit organization devoted exclusively to advancing the unmanned systems and robotics community. Serving more than 7,500 members from government organizations, industry and academia, AUVSI is committed to fostering, developing, and promoting unmanned systems and robotics technologies. AUVSI members support defense, civil and commercial sectors.

         Projected attendance: 8,000


• American Society of Cataract & Refractive Surgery (ASCRS)/American Society of Opthalmic Administrators (ASOA) Symposium & Congress | May 7-10

         The 2016 ASCRS/ASOA Symposium & Congress will be the largest U.S. meeting that integrates a scientific program dedicated to the needs of the anterior segment specialist with the leading practice management program for comprehensive ophthalmology and subspecialties.

         Projected attendance: 12,000


• Drupal Association: Drupal Con New Orleans | May 9-13

         The Drupal community is one of the largest open source communities in the world made up of developers, designers, strategists, coordinators, editors, translators and more. Each year, meetings and other events are held in more than 200 countries, and once a year, the community comes together at the biggest Drupal event in the world: DrupalCon North America. Drupal is a free and open-source content-management framework written in PHP and distributed under the GNU General Public License. It is used as a back-end framework for at least 2.1% of all Web sites worldwide.

         Projected attendance: 3,200


• Society for Academic Emergency Medicine SAEM16 Annual Meeting | May 10-13

         The Society for Academic Emergency Medicine is a network of more than 6,000 emergency medicine professionals with an interest in academics. As the premier source for ground-breaking education and research, SAEM provides members with the tools they need to continue improving patient care.

         Projected attendance: 3,000


• American Association of Critical Care Nurses (AACN) National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Expo | May 15-19

         Attendees learn together, share the passion and lead change at AACN's National Teaching Institute & Critical Care Exposition (preconferences May 15). This is the premier conference for high acuity and critical care nurses and take home new evidence-based knowledge to make an impact at the bedside.

         Projected attendance: 7,800


• American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) WINDPOWER 2016 Conference & Exhibition | May 23-26

         Since 1974, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) has advocated the development of wind energy as a reliable, environmentally superior energy alternative in the United States and around the world. The mission of the American Wind Energy Association is to promote wind power growth through advocacy, communication and education.

         Projected attendance: 7,000


         The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest 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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