NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - This year's Carnival season may be shorter than others, but it's expected to have a lasting impact on Louisiana's economy.
Tourism leaders say that hotels are at close to 99 percent occupancy for the weekend. It's an early indicator of a healthy season.
So how big is Carnival season for New Orleans?
A recent Tulane University study showed a $456 million impact in 2014. The study states that $17.5 million of that was generated in tax revenues. Researchers say that Carnival season represents about 1.5 percent of the city's gross domestic product.
"When you think about the total economy of New Orleans, you're thinking about the port and the healthcare and Tulane and all the big producers in New Orleans. That just a 12 day festival can contribute that much to our GDP is really pretty significant," Tulane Economics Professor Toni Weiss said.
Researchers were careful to point out that all of the tax revenue generated by Carnival does not stay in New Orleans. Much of it goes to the state.