A successful festival season continues throughout May and into the summer months. 

  • New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival saw over 460,000 attendees visit the Fairgrounds over the seven-day event. Jazz Fest followed French Quarter Fest and Zurich Classic held in April where both events announced record breaking attendance.  
  • ​YLC Wednesday at the Square continues throughout the month of May at Lafayette Square with the last show being Wednesday, May 24. The festival is free and open to the public and features local music, food, arts, and crafts. The full music lineup is available to view here.   
  • In May, the festival fun spreads to Mid-City and Bayou St. John with Bayou Boogaloo, May 19-21, and the New Orleans Greek Festival, May 26-28. 
  • Essence Festival of Culture returns to Downtown New Orleans June 29-July 3. The concert series held at the Caesars Superdome is headlined by Missy Elliott, Ms. Lauryn Hill and Megan Thee Stallion. Tickets are available here
  • During Restaurant Week from June 19-25, visitors will be able to find multi-course curated menus from some of the best restaurants in New Orleans. A list of participating restaurants is available here.  
  • Tales of the Cocktail will take place at a variety of New Orleans hotels, restaurants and bars July 23-28. The theme for 2023 event is VITALIZE to encapsulate the hospitality community’s vibrancy and adaptability. 
  • Brittany and Drew Brees announced the creation of The NOLA Pickleball Fest (“The NOLA”), an annual event benefiting the Brees Dream Foundation. The inaugural event will be held August 10-13, 2023, at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The NOLA is a unique, festival-style pickleball tournament featuring 24 tournament-quality PickleRoll courts, live music, a celebrity exhibition match featuring Drew Brees, VIP experiences and much more.  
  • 2023 Festival Calendar Highlights are available here.   


  • For the second year in a row, the TODAY Show with Hoda & Jenna broadcasted live from New Orleans’ Jackson Square on Monday, May 1 and recorded a second show that aired on Tuesday, May 2 meeting with several of the city’s culture bearers. Clips from the two shows are available here.   


  • The Audubon Nature Institute announced it will complete its renovation of the Audubon Aquarium of Americas and Insectarium and reopen on June 8. This project is the biggest renovation of the Aquarium since it opened on Canal Street in 1990.  
  • ​In 2020, Audubon announced it would be moving Audubon Butterfly Garden and Insectarium from the U.S. Custom House on Canal Street to the Aquarium campus on the river, building a combined experience that re-envisions Audubon’s downtown guest experience and educational programming. The new renovation will include approximately 17,000 square feet of new exhibit space constructed inside the existing walls of the Aquarium as well as 2,500 square feet of the existing Aquarium breezeway space that will be enclosed to create a shared public lobby.    
  • Tickets to visit the renovated Audubon Aquarium are on sale now, click here


  • New Orleans & Company joined destinations across the country to highlight the magnitude of the hospitality industry and how vital tourism is to our economy both locally and statewide with several events held last week.  

  • While our team hosted events throughout the week, the main event was an industry wide pep rally on Thursday, May 11 to celebrate the New Orleans hospitality industry and recognize Champions of the Industry, individuals who have gone above and beyond in service not just in the hospitality industry but their own community as well. This year’s Champions of the Industry included five individuals from across the industry:  

    • Linda Baynham – New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center 
    • ​Dr. Harsha Chacko – University of New Orleans School of Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Administration  
    • Ridgely Finley – Sheraton New Orleans 
    • Eric Offray – Dickie Brennan’s & Co. 
    • David Rubenstein – Rubensteins 
  • A special recognition was also given to Edward Orgone, Electronic Technician Supervisor for the New Orleans Police Department. During the seven days of Jazz Fest, Edward is a one-man greeting committee where you may have heard his trademark “Happy Jazz Fest to you” passing his post near Liuzza’s by the Track. 

  • Watch the recap here


  • Southern Rail Commission (SRC) and Amtrak announced key project milestones for passenger rail projects within the I-20 Corridor and along the Gulf Coast.  
  • Gulf Coast Passenger Rail - Amtrak is currently running familiarization trips for the highly anticipated return of passenger rail service between New Orleans and Mobile. 
  • Baton Rouge to New Orleans Rail - Representatives from the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development discussed federal funds the state is currently pursuing to advance the Baton Rouge to New Orleans Passenger Rail project. 


  • In 2024, Nobu Hotel New Orleans and restaurant are set to open within the newly created Caesars New Orleans, following a multimillion-dollar transformation of Harrah’s New Orleans. 
  • Kimpton Hotel Fontenot just announced that King, the new French brasserie, is set to open on the property on March 30th. The restaurant is part of the hotel's expansion into the historic building next door, and will offer seating for 125, including an outside patio in front of the restaurant on Tchoupitoulas Street. King's cuisine will be led by the hotel's Executive Chef Samuel Peery. 
  • New Orleans & Company announced a new program that allows visitors to ride the historic streetcar when they book a hotel stay on neworleans.com now through Labor Day. 


  • In line with Disney’s 100th Anniversary, The National WWII Museum in New Orleans will open a special exhibit, “The Walt Disney Studios and World War II,” which explores how one of America’s most beloved entertainment companies helped achieve Allied victory. Disney and history lovers alike may visit the exhibit from now through September 24, 2023 in the Museum’s Senator John Alario, Jr. Special Exhibition Hall. 
  • Featuring a collection of over 500 rare historical objects and film clips, this traveling exhibit will showcase collections such as “Films and Print for Training, Propaganda, and Entertainment” and “Insignia and Morale.” Not only does the exhibit include profiles of Disney employees who left their studios to join the Armed Forces, but it highlights the remarkable American minorities who paved the way for future Generations. 
  • Disney will open New Orleans themed projects both in the parks and on the big screen. A New Orleans vibe will take over the recreated “Haunted Mansion,” a New Orleans-set supernatural comedy. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, based off the New Orleans-set movie “The Princess and the Frog”, will take the place of Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. 


  • Breeze Airways started its seasonal one stop services to and from Hartford, Connecticut and Los Angeles, California and will continue through September 5. 


  • New Orleans was named Top U.S. City for Neighborhood Restaurants and #2 in the Top 10 Best U.S. Food Cities in the Inaugural 2023 Global Tastemakers Awards by Food and Wine.  
  • ​New Orleans was named #2 on the Top 10 Best Food Cities in the US by Travel+Leisure.New Orleans’ food offerings are just as diverse as its cultural influences from Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa. With this in mind, it’s fitting that The Big Easy is, well, big on flavor.”  
  • AFAR Magazine named New Orleans one of the 10 best places in the world to travel in April, because of Jazz Fest. New Orleans was one of only two U.S. cities recommended, along with international destinations Rome, Jordan, Spain, Iceland and French Polynesia. 
  • New Orleans was featured in Southern Living’s Best of the South issue. The seventh annual awards recognize readers' favorite Southern destinations, hotels, restaurants and more. The cover story features Hoda Kotb and why she loves New Orleans and wants her daughters to love New Orleans as well. 
  • Other New Orleans attractions included in the Best of the South issue: Commander’s Palace – Best Locally Owned Restaurant in Louisiana, The Chandelier Bar at the Four Seasons – Best New Hotel Bar in New Orleans, The Joint – Best BBQ in Louisiana, Hotel Monteleone – Top 10 of the South’s Best Hotels and Parkway Bakery & Tavern - The Best PoBoys In New Orleans. 
  • The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) received a top industry award for Best Airport in North America (5 to 15 million passengers per year) from the Airports Council International World’s 2022 Airport Service Quality program highlighting the world’s best airports as judged by their customers who are surveyed. 
  • MSY is one of only three airports in North America to win Best Airport recognition among those serving 5 to 15 million passengers per year. 
  • New Orleans & Company, in partnership with Dentsu Creative, was awarded a Gold Addy for Best of Show - Mosaic at the 2023 American Advertising Awards for its Plus One Campaign. The award speaks to the diversity and inclusion of the campaign including the people and its storytelling. 
  • In addition to the Gold Addy for Best of Show – Mosaic, Plus One was awarded two Silver Addys, for Online, Video and Sound – Internet Commercial for any length and up to two minutes. The campaign also gained national recognition earlier last year. In December 2022, Plus One was named one of the 30 Best Ads of 2022 by AdWeek and the only destination to be featured on the list.
  • Plus One, a campaign built around the culture bearers of New Orleans, tells the story of our place and our creativity through our people. The dinner party featured talented chefs, musicians, artists, activists, civil rights icons, and members of vibrant and tight-knit New Orleans communities. New Orleans & Company released a Virtual Reality (VR) component to the campaign and is believed to be the first time a destination marketing organization has used VR. The VR experience allows people to view New Orleans through the eyes of the culture bearers. The Plus One VR experience is available on YouTube
  • New Orleans & Company’s Convention Sales Team is often recognized by trade magazines and its readers as well as meeting planners for their outstanding work showcasing the city and scheduling meetings and big events. In 2022, the Sales Team won six awards including a Prevue Visionary Award, C&IT Award of Excellence, Meetings Today “Best Of”, AC&F 15th Annual “Distinctive Achievement” Award, Smart Stars 2022 and the 2022 ConventionSouth Readers’ Choice Award.  
  • New Orleans has been recognized as one of the best food destinations in the 2023 Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice Best of the Best series. New Orleans was named as the number one Best Food  Destination - United States as well as finishing within the top ten in the world.  
  • New Orleans was celebrated and honored with two awards at the 65th Annual Grammy Awards. “Jazz Fest: A New Orleans Story” won Best Music Video, Long Form and “Stompin’ Ground” by Aaron Neville with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band which was featured in the “Take Me to the River” documentary won Best American Roots Performance. 
  • AFAR Magazine named New Orleans one of the 10 best places in the world to travel in April, because of Jazz Fest. New Orleans was one of only two U.S. cities recommended, along with international destinations Rome, Jordan, Spain, Iceland, Zambia, Bhutan, Australia and French Polynesia.  
  • New Orleans & Company earned the prestigious gold statuette for Best Culinary Destination – U.S.; Silver statuette in Best City Destination – Domestic; and bronze statuette in Best Tourism Board – US at the 8th annual Travvy Awards. New Orleans was also awarded the “Most Desirable City” – Rest of World - by Wanderlust Magazine at the Wanderlust Travel Awards in the United Kingdom. 
  • For more information about the awards click here
  • In the 2023 USA Today 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, the Audubon Aquarium was ranked the No. 5 Best Aquarium and the Audubon Zoo was ranked the No. 7 Best Zoo in the United States.
  • Windsor Court Hotel was voted the No. 1 hotel in New Orleans by Travel + Leisure readers in the World’s Best Awards. Every year Travel + Leisure shares the World's Best Awards survey asking readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe. To view Travel + Leisure’s 5 Best Hotels in New Orleans click here.   
  • Four Seasons New Orleans and Hotel Saint Vincent have been named to the Travel + Leisure It List 2022, the 100 Best New Hotels in the World.  
  • The Peacock Room at Kimpton Hotel Fontenot was awarded Best Bar in the Hemispheres Magazine 2022 Readers’ Choice Awards. Also featured, the Jazz & Heritage Festival was named the Best Cultural Festival.  
  • Four Seasons New Orleans and Hotel Saint Vincent have been named to the Travel + Leisure It List 2022, the 100 Best New Hotels in the World.

To learn more about what is happening in New Orleans’ tourism industry, please read the latest issue of  Tourism Matters or visit neworleans.com.