2013 a huge year for New Orleans tourism - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

2013 a huge year for New Orleans tourism

NEW ORLEANS - This was one of the most successful years for tourism in the City of New Orleans. Mayor Landrieu made the announcement Monday as the city is about to usher in a new year, along with plenty of visitors.

There were thousands of people out and about in the French Quarter Monday night ahead of Tuesday night's big New Year's Eve celebration. It's one which Mayor Landrieu says, the world will be watching.

New Year's Eve in New Orleans seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year. National magazines tout the city as the number one place to celebrate. Even a day ahead of the fleur de lis drop, visitors we spoke to agree saying, "Good city, good people, good drinks, good food, good everything".

Mayor Landrieu says all of the accolades help convince people to come and spend their money. "When you have third party verification, because everybody wants to claim it themselves, but when you have third party verification, that we are in fact one of the great places to visit, one thing just leads to the next," said Landrieu.

100,000 people are expected here for New Year's and the Sugar Bowl. Those figures add to the nine million people who visited the Crescent City this year. Landrieu says the numbers are staggering. "By all standards, 2013 has been a huge success. We are seeing an increase in visitors, annual visitor spending and the range of cultural events is almost second to none," said Landrieu.

The Super Bowl in February certainly helped bring people here. But so too do smaller feats, Landrieu says, such as improving infrastructure and the plethora of new bars and restaurants opening. Tourism leaders says 2014 should be a big year as well.

Mark Romig, CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation explains, "The hits will just keep on coming as they say with the NBA All Star game, we go right into Mardi Gras and then world wrestling goes into it and then we hit the festival season."

According to the Convention and Visitors Bureau, hotel occupancy this week is at 92-95 percent full, ensuring this New Year's Eve and Sugar Bowl celebration is one of the largest this city has ever seen.

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