NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans had a record-breaking 10.45 million visitors in 2016, the highest number of tourists since 2004.
According to the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, there has been a steady increase since 2009 in both how many people are visiting the city and how much money people are spending while they’re here. The research is conducted by the University of New Orleans.
In 2016, visitors to New Orleans spent $7.41 billion dollars, a 5.1 percent increase compared to the visitor spending record set in 2015.
In 2004, New Orleans welcomed 10.1 million visitors who spent $4.9 billion while in the city. In 2006, after Hurricane Katrina, visitation dropped to 3.7 million, with $2.9 billion in visitor spending.
Since 2010, visitation and spending in New Orleans have increased by nearly 26 percent and 40 percent respectively.
Research shows overnight visitors to the New Orleans area who stayed in hotels spent an average of $1,033 per person, per trip in 2016. Visitors stayed for an average of four nights and spent an average of $231 per person, per day.
“The New Orleans tourism industry experienced yet another breakthrough year in 2016, this time making history for the number of visitors to our city and visitor spending,” said Mayor Mitch Landrieu. “This exciting achievement is a testament to our city’s unique ability to host tourists and major events like no other. As we approach our tricentennial, I look forward to 2017 being an even bigger year for the tourism industry in New Orleans.”
Recent big wins for the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau include announcements of two direct flights from Europe to New Orleans starting this year.
Condor Airlines will begin a seasonal direct flight from Frankfurt, Germany to New Orleans and British Airways will begin a direct flight from London to New Orleans in 2017. Each of these flights will connect New Orleans to more than 120 destinations in Europe and beyond.