According to a University of New Orleans Hospitality Research Center Study commissioned by the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau and New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the city of New Orleans welcomed 9.52 million visitors in 2014 who spent a record-breaking $6.81bn. That level of spending is the highest in the city’s history.
Meanwhile, a study by the motion picture industry revealed that one in every seven visitors to Louisiana traveled to the state because of a film or television show, showing a direct correlation between film and TV production and visitation. Productions including the 1986 movie The Big Easy with Dennis Quaid and Ellen Barkin to the current, popular TV series NCIS: New Orleans and others depict New Orleans as a colorful city that harbors a dark side, as NCIS: New Orleans says on its Facebook page.
|French Quarter architecture|
Chef Nina Compton, who competed on season 11 of Bravo TV’s Top Chef in New Orleans, opened her first restaurant on June 2. Located in Provenance Hotel’s Old No. 77 Hotel and Chandlery which opened April 30 at Lafayette and Tchoupitoulas Streets in the Warehouse and Arts District, Compère Lapin offers cuisine that melds the flavors of her Caribbean upbringing and love for French and Italian cuisine.
Chef Emeril LaGasse has several restaurants in The Crescent City, as does Chef John Besh.
|Coffee and beignets|
at Café du Monde
Members of the hospitality industry are working to make the city even more appealing. The New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (NORTA) has broken ground an expansion of the French Quarter streetcar system. A 2.5-mile segment will run from Canal Street to Press Street in the Bywater neighborhood. Future plans include a segment that will extend along Elysian Fields Avenue toward the Mississippi River and tie in with the existing Riverfront streetcar line.
A $65m park along Convention Center Boulevard has been approved as part of the New Orleans Convention Center’s District Development Project, a redevelopment of 47 acres of riverfront property. The project also calls for construction of a new “headquarters” hotel, outdoor entertainment, arts and cultural venues and new retail and housing options.
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Photos by Carl Dombek
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