New Orleans tourism breaks record in 2011

Posted on: March 26 2012
"...corporate travelers said they extended their stay for pleasure for an extra two days..."

March 26, 2012
Michelle Krupa, Times Picayune

The 8.75 million tourists who visited New Orleans last year spent a record-breaking $5.47 billion, Mayor Mitch Landrieu and tourism officials announced during a City Hall news conference this morning. The statistics, compiled by John Williams, interim dean of University of New Orleans School of Business, represent a 5.6 percent increase in the number of visitors and a $180 million bump in spending compared with 2010.

Three-quarters of visitors surveyed were in town for pleasure, while the rest cited business travel or a convention as their reason for coming to the city, the report shows. Nearly 60 percent of corporate travelers said they extended their stay for pleasure for an extra two days.

The 2011 results come as New Orleans kicks off the 2012 spring festival season and as college basketball fans begin pouring into town for this weekend's Final Four match-ups. Also on the horizon are Navy Week and the 2013 Super Bowl.