New Orleans tourism rebounds as city hosts largest convention since pandemic began

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The city of New Orleans has just finished hosting its largest conference since the start of the pandemic. According to New Orleans & Co., approximately 10,000 people attended the American Academy of Ophthalmology convention from November 11-15. For business owners, this is the latest sign that visitors are returning to the city as COVID-19 cases decline and vaccination rates rise. “We’re back on track,” said Sidney Smith, owner of Haunted History Tours in the French Quarter. “(It’s) definitely better than 12 months ago.” WDSU first spoke to Smith in the summer of 2020 when he admitted his business was struggling to stay afloat. He said bookings had increased significantly since then, but were still below pre-pandemic levels. “We usually have a massive Halloween, you know, with the tourists. This year was good. It wasn’t huge,” Smith said. In 2019, the city welcomed a record 19 million tourists. Smith said he believes it will be March before things get back to normal. , musicians and others in the tourism industry who have been affected by the pandemic. Lisa Alexis, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism and Culture Fund, said her group plans to award 40 grants in each quarter of 2022. To date in 2021, 143 Grants were awarded totaling $ 1.2 million.

The city of New Orleans has just finished hosting its largest conference since the start of the pandemic.

According to New Orleans & Co., approximately 10,000 people attended the American Academy of Ophthalmology convention from November 11 to 15.

For business owners, this is the latest sign that visitors are returning to the city as COVID-19 cases decline and vaccination rates rise.

“We’re back on track,” said Sidney Smith, owner of Haunted History Tours in the French Quarter. “(It’s) definitely better than 12 months ago.”

WDSU first spoke to Smith in the summer of 2020 when he admitted his business was struggling to stay afloat. He said bookings had increased significantly since then, but were still below pre-pandemic levels.

“We usually have a massive Halloween, you know, with the tourists. This year was good. It wasn’t huge,” Smith said.

In 2019, the city welcomed a record 19 million tourists.

Smith said he believes it will be March before things get back to normal.

He agreed with local leaders who testified before New Orleans City Council on Tuesday, calling for continued financial support for culture bearers, musicians and others in the tourism industry who have been affected by the pandemic.

Lisa Alexis, president and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism and Culture Fund, said her group plans to award 40 grants in each quarter of 2022. To date in 2021, 143 Grants were awarded, totaling $ 1.2 million.


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