New Orleans is getting set to celebrate the 300th anniversary of the city in 2018, and the next five years will see a slew of improvements to the city. Travel Agent spoke with Lauren Cason, director, marketing, communications and governmental affairs, for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, for details.
A new airport will be ready for flights to arrive in 2018. Additionally, the city is redeveloping its riverfront, and the biomedical district is opening its first hospital in 2015, which will be important for the local economy.
Other big news? On October 3, the Saenger Theatre reopened following an eight-year, $52 million renovation. Upcoming entertainment includes comedian Jerry Seinfield, Brian Regan, Bonnie Raitt, Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker and more.
According to statistics from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the Port of New Orleans saw a 32 percent increase in cruise passengers in 2012, topping 2011's record numbers. CLIA ranked New Orleans as the sixth-largest cruise port in the U.S., up from ninth in 2011.
Finally, with Halloween coming up, New Orleans is touting its status as "America's most haunted city." French Quartour Kids is offering four weekends of a Halloween History Tour, beginning October 19. The House of Shock indoor and outdoor haunted house is celebrating its 21st anniversary this year, and Carnival Cruise Line is sponsoring a Boo at the Zoo event the weekends of October 18 and 25. Haunted tours are also available all year round from Bloody Mary Tours and Soiree, Haunted History Tours, New Orleans Cemetery Tour and Spirit Tours New Orleans.