New Orleans tourism looking optimistic

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NEW ORLEANS – As COVID restrictions ease and more people get vaccinated, tourists might start to feel more comfortable to travel.

But, with Louisiana’s mask mandate and restrictions that states around us don’t have, will New Orleans have to persuade tourists to come back?

New Orleans & Company, the city’s tourism office says even with restrictions in place, visitors still want to come to New Orleans. Experts believe with spring break around the corner and summer not that far away, people will start booking flights while others are ready to make the drive.

There’s also a sense of optimism as COVID numbers drop and restrictions ease. As people get vaccinated, they’re feeling more comfortable traveling.

Kelly Schulz with New Orleans & Company said, “That comfort level is a very positive thing because travelers are actually feeling comfortable and feeling safe and making the decision to go ahead and book New Orleans compared to any other destination.”

Until recently, people were booking with short notice.

“One of the positive things we’re seeing now is people are booking their trips 4 months instead of 4 days in advanced. People are making plans and they’re sticking to those plans,” Schulz said.

As the world reopens, there is added competition to attract visitors. Overall, Schulz does not believe Louisiana’s mask mandate and restrictions will deter people from coming.

“It’s still going to be a year of recovery, but we do have many reasons to be optimistic and we’re certainly ready for those visitors to return in larger numbers but most importantly to do so in a way that they remain safe,” Schulz said.

New Orleans & Company added that as there is an uptick in visitors, there will be a positive ripple effect on the economy.

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