New Orleans Marriott's $36 Million Renovation

Separately, last week Travel Agent spoke with Cory Chambers, director of sales and marketing for the New Orleans Marriott on Canal Street, about the property's $36 million renovation that encompasses nearly every part of the hotel, from the guest rooms and lobby to restaurant and meeting rooms.

A project that started in 2005, it is expected to be complete in 2009. Its 1,290 guest rooms were the first to be revamped; its 54 suites are on tap for this year.

Lobby renovations will begin in May and continue through October, bringing a more modern design with elements of Marriott's Great Room concept, a Starbucks, FedEx/Kinkos, Cajun-Creole grill restaurant, and upgrades to its check-in area including self-service check-in kiosks.

The property's Grand Ballroom, the largest in the state, is getting a $4.5 million facelift.

Agents who complete the Marriott Hotel Excellence! training program are eligible for FAMtastic rates and other perks.

So, as Perry's and Chambers' reports prove, there are a lot of resources being invested in New Orleans' tourism industry, and there are many reasons to join them in being bullish on the city—sending your clients, and visiting yourself, to help this American treasure in its recovery. —Anastasia Mills