Port of New Orleans and local tourism leaders address economic concerns after Triumph

February 18 2013 | Latest News
February 17, 2013



Days after thousands of stranded cruise ship passengers returned from sea in the Gulf of Mexico, the Port of New Orleans and tourism leaders are addressing concerns that the dream vacation that turned into a nightmare could impact the cruise industry negatively.

Gary Lagrange of the Port of New Orleans said the city has not felt the impact of Carnival Cruise’s Triumph cruise.

“We don’t think anybody’s going to jump out there and really start to cancel their cruises,” Lagrange said.

Mark Romig of the New Orleans Tourism and Marketing Corporation agreed.

“We don’t see any impact at all,” Romig said. “In fact, cruising out of New Orleans is becoming much more popular than ever before.”

New Orleans saw a record number of 750,000 cruise passengers in 2011, up from 80,000 in 1993, with a direct economic impact of $200 million.

The cruise industry employs more than 5,000 people and has a payroll of $225 million each year.

“We think if New Orleans had this happen on a ship home ported here as opposed to Galveston, (we) would have had a much more detrimental economic impact,” Lagrange said.

Building on the success of the New Orleans cruise industry, Lagrange said plans are in the works for a third terminal at Poland Avenue to accommodate more ships from Carnival, Norwegian, Royal Caribbean and other cruise lines that call New Orleans home.

“The hotel industry loves the cruise industry because folks come in a couple of days early,” Romig said. “They say they enjoy the restaurants, the attractions and then they get on their ship and sometimes they stay a couple of days afterward.”

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