Crescent Park
Crescent Park
Crescent Park

New Orleans News | Press

Monthly Media Update

New Orleans' monthly Media Update covers the latest travel and tourism developments around town. Please email to be added to our media mailing list.

What’s New in New Orleans Hospitality Industry – February 2018


  • New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival has announced an impressive lineup filled with both national and local live music acts for the weekends of April 27th-29th and May 3rd-6th, 2018 at the Fair Ground Race Course.
    • Headlines include Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, Sting, Jimmy Buffet, Jack White, Beck and many more.
    • New Orleans’s own Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue, Aaron Neville, Irma Thomas and Big Freedia will also headline the festival.
  • ESSENCE Festival announced their 2018 lineup which is set to takeover the Mercedes-Benz Superdome July 5th-8th, 2018.
    • Headliners include Janet Jackson, Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu, Jill Scott, Snoop Dogg and many more.
  • The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) has set a new record with 12,009,512 total passengers served in 2017.
    • Passenger totals from 2017 follow record-setting years in 2015 and 2016 with 10.6 million and 11.1 million passengers traveling through MSY.
    • Last year was the seventh year of continued passenger growth, with an overall increase of more than 35 percent in total passengers since 2010.
  • The Port of New Orleans set a record with 1,150,172 passengers at its Erato Street and Julia Street Cruise Terminals in 2017.
    • This marks the fourth consecutive year of more than one million cruise passenger movements and reinforcing its importance as a key driver of the hospitality industry’s economic impact in the region.
  • New Orleans Culinary & Hospitality Institute (NOCHI) has officially broken ground.
    • The new $32 million culinary and hospitality institute is set to open its doors at 725 Howard Avenue in 2019. 
    • The school will include five dedicated teaching kitchens, a beverage lab for wine and spirits programs, a retail café space, separate classroom and office spaces for NOCHI and Tulane University, and a stunning event center on the fifth floor.
    • NOCHI was cofounded in 2013 by Ti Adelaide Martin, co-propreitor of The Commander’s Family of Restaurants; Dickie Brennan, award-winning restauranteur; and George Brower, tax credit specialist and developer of $125 million in commercial ventures.


  • New Orleans is celebrating its 300th anniversary throughout 2018.
    • As one of the world’s most unique and diverse cities, New Orleans will celebrate with its citizens and open its doors to the world to share the city’s rich history and culture.
    • During the Tricentennial, New Orleans will celebrate its past accomplishments, the resilience of its people and set the course for the future.
  • The Historic New Orleans Collection (THNOC) has announced a year of special programming commemorating New Orleans’ Tricentennial in 2018.
    • THNOC will open a special bilingual tricentennial exhibit New Orleans, the Founding Era, a multifaceted exploration of the city’s first few decades, on February 27th, 2018.
    • As part of the tricentennial exhibit, THNOC will join the City of New Orleans 2018 Commission’s Cultural and Historical Committee to present Making New Orleans Home: A Tricentennial Symposium, March 8-11, 2018.
      • The four-day event will explore how the 300-year history of how New Orleans came to be inhabited by diverse, vibrant people and how, in turn, the concept of home has been central to the life and culture of the city.
  • Tall Ships New Orleans 2018 will welcome a magnificent line-up of historic ships known as “tall ships” from the U.S. and around the world to New Orleans’ Woldenberg Riverfront Park at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, April 19th-22nd, 2018. This event coincides with NOLA Navy Week 2018.
    • The line-up of ships includes Elissa from Galveston, TX, Oosterchelde from The Netherlands, Oliver Hazard Perry from Newport, RI, Picton Castle, from the Cook Islands, and others.
  • International Weekend is the official welcoming ceremony of international dignitaries, and dinner for international guests at the historic restored Gallier Hall.
  • The Tricentennial Interfaith Prayer Service will take place at St. Louis Cathedral.
    • The service will be an opportunity for the various faiths of New Orleans to come together in thankfulness and unity.

For the full Tricentennial calendar, click here.


  • The Mardi Gras season kicked off in New Orleans on Saturday, January 6th with King’s Day and will continue through Mardi Gras Day on Tuesday, February 13th.
    • Carnival Season welcomes more than one million people to the streets of New Orleans, generating more than $840 million for the local economy each year.
    • The Krewe of Rex chose the colors of Mardi Gras in 1872, with purple representing justice, gold representing power and green representing faith.
    • More than 500,000 king cakes are sold each year in New Orleans between January 6th and Fat Tuesday, and another 50,000 are shipping out-of-state via overnight courier.
    • Many krewes are known for their unique handmade throws, such as the Krewe of Zulu’s coconuts and the Krewe of Muses’ shoes.
    • This year it is expected that many Krewe’s will adapt the city’s Tricentennial into their theme.
  • Prospect New Orleans fourth installment and citywide art triennial, Prospect.4, will come to a close February 25, 2018.
    • Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp, is the fourth iteration of the citywide exhibition that finds inspiration from the lotus plant.
    • More than 70 artists from over 25 countries are set to participate in the contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every three years in New Orleans.
    • Prospect.3, was held in New Orleans in 2015, and engaged more than 100,000 visitors during its thirteen-week run.

For a full list of events, click here.


  • The Smoothie King Center has been included in Pollstar’s Top 200 Arenas in ticket sales, reaching no.71 worldwide and no.38 out of all U.S. arenas.
    • These rankings are based on reported tickets sold for public events excluding home sports teams. The Smoothie King Center reported a total of 288,542 tickets sold in 2017.
  • The New Orleans Museum of Art has announced the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden expansion.
    • The expansion will include an additional six acres of land in New Orleans City Park, with sites for additional sculptures, as well as an amphitheater and stage, pedestrian bridges and walkways, a new gallery, and an outdoor learning environment.
    • Like the existing garden, it will be free and open to the public seven days a week.


  • The Jung Hotel and Residences, a New Orleans Hotel Collection Property, opened its doors in December 2017.
    • Located at 1500 Canal Street, adjacent to the city’s medical corridor, the Jung features 207 luxury guest rooms, 113 one and two-bedroom apartments, more than 15 meeting rooms and a 12,000-square-foot exhibit hall.
    • The Jung is a $140 million re-imagination and rebirth of the historic Jung Hotel, incorporating residences, retail, hotel, parking and other amenities.


  • Chef Nina Compton is set to unveil her newest restaurant concept, Bywater American Bistro.
    • The menu, which is still in development, will feature fresh and approachable dishes that will honor ingredients, smart sourcing, proper technique, and bold flavor combinations.
    • The restaurant will open to the public in early 2018 in the Rice Mills Loft at 2900 Chartres Street in New Orleans’ Bywater district.
  • Flamingo A-Go-Go, a playful new restaurant in the Warehouse District, has opened its doors for business at the corner of Magazine and St. Joseph streets. The new restaurant is supported by Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts restaurant group.
    • The restaurant and bar serves a healthy dose of world-class cuisine in its large dining room, and features and oversized bar and courtyard area.



  • Carnival Cruise Line has announced that it will bring new ships to New Orleans in May 2019 to expand capacity on short cruise offerings from New Orleans.
    • The Carnival Valor, currently based in Galveston, TX, will shift to New Orleans to begin year-round four- and five-day cruises, replacing the Carnival Triumph.
    • The Carnival Glory will take over the Carnival Dream’s year-round schedule.
    • Both new additions are expected to carry nearly 400,000 passengers from New Orleans.  
  • Norwegian Cruise Line announced it will deploy the 4,000-passenger Norwegian Breakaway to the Port of New Orleans beginning November 2018.
    • The 1,068-foot vessel will be the largest cruise ship in both length and passenger occupancy to ever sail from Port NOLA, and its arrival will nearly double Norwegian’s guest occupancy from New Orleans.


  • City Hall announced the historic riverfront redevelopment projects that will open access to the city’s riverfront with 3.2 miles of contiguous space from Spanish Plaza to Crescent Park. The development has an estimated completion date of early 2020. The projects include:
    • Spanish Plaza - $7.5 million plaza renovation
    • Four Seasons - $400 million Renovation of the World Trade Center
    • Canal Street Ferry Terminal - $37 million state-of-the-art terminal
    • Ferry Pedestrian Bridge - $7.3 million new pedestrian bridge
    • Woldenberg Riverfront Park - $6 million park improvements
    • Moonwalk Park - $3 million park renovation
    • Esplanade and Governor Nicholls Street Wharves - $15 million conversion
    • Crescent Park - $31.2 million
  • The Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport has announced an expansion to the plans for the new terminal, currently under construction, bringing the total number of gates from 30 to 35. The plans include a 2,200-car parking garage, a central utility plan and a ground transportation area.
    • The new terminal is now set to open February 2019.
    • The five-gate expansion and new opening date comes as the airport has exceeded all passenger enplanement targets and added new international airlift to Europe and South America.


  • Vacation Express announced several new nonstop flights from New Orleans to the Caribbean beginning in 2018.
    • Four-night rotations from New Orleans to Punta Cana departing every Thursday starting May 24, 2018 through July 5, 2018.
    • Six-night Punta Cana rotations departing every Friday from May 18, 2018 through July 27, 2018.
    • Seven-night Cancun rotation departing every Sunday from May 20, 2018 through July 29, 2018.
  • Condor Airlines has announced its return to New Orleans in 2018 with twice-weekly flights operating Thursdays and Sundays from May 17th, 2018 through September 30th, 2018, from Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) to Frankfurt International Airport (FRA).
  • Southwest Airlines announced a new nonstop flight from Sacramento, Calif. to New Orleans beginning March 10th, 2018. The flight will only be available on Saturdays.
  • Spirit Airlines announced a new nonstop flight from New Orleans to Columbus, Ohio beginning March 22nd, 2018. 
  • Spirit Airlines announced a new nonstop flight from Atlantic City, NJ to New Orleans beginning April 13th, 2018.


                Meetings (3,000 or more in attendance) include:

  • International Roofing Expo (IRE) | February 6-8
    • IRE is the preeminent roofing construction and maintenance event for roofing professionals to network and have access to educations and product review.
    • Projected attendance: 10,000
  • American Rental Association (ARA) The Rental Show | February 18-21
    • ARA’s The Rental Show is the most influential trade event for the roofing, construction and maintenance industry, offering coverage of the innovative equipment, supplies, resources, information and technologies that are shaping the future of the industry.
    • Projected attendance: 9,000
  • American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Combined Sections Meeting (CSM) | February 21-24
    • Innovative and dedicated professionals in the physical therapy industry join for ATPA’s CSM, the largest conference on physical therapy in the country.
    • Projected attendance: 15,000
  • Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) Annual Convention | February 26-27
    • AGC is the leading association for the construction industry. The Annual Convention draws together professionals from more than 26,000 firms, including 6,500 of America’s leading general contractors, and more than 9,000 specialty-contracting firms.
    • Projected attendance: 3,000

The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and of  fices in Chicago, Columbia, SC, Washington, D.C., the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, Brazil and China. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrates its 58th anniversary in 2018. For more information, please visit;;;

Media Contact
Julia Hollings


For updates on this page contact:
Julia Hollings

Julia Hollings

Communications Coordinator
Additional Support
  • In need of assistance with story ideas, itinerary development, accommodations or interviews? We can help.
    Read More
  • The New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau has curated a wide range of video and photography assets to promote New Orleans as a premier destination for business and leisure travel.
    Read More
  • The numbers are in and we are thrilled to share with you that in 2016, New Orleans hosted a record-breaking 10.45 million visitors who spent $7.41 billion.
    Read More