Trade show at Convention Center for the first time in a year leaves tourism leaders cautiously optimistic

Updated: Mar. 3, 2021 at 4:32 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Tourism is top of mind for city and state leaders. With the easing of restrictions across Louisiana this week, Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says he’s promoting the state at full force.

In New Orleans, Mayor Latoya Cantrell said the city will remain in its own version of a modified Phase two. Still, there are signs of life again at the Convention Center where, The HQ Event, is taking place right now.

The two day expo is for hundreds of entrepreneurs in the cannabis trade. That show is the first trade show at the Morial Convention Center since the COVID-19 pandemic brought those types of gatherings to a halt about a year ago.

The trade show organizers say they chose New Orleans because of the food and hospitality.

City tourism leaders say they have future events on the books, but there are challenges moving forward when it comes to predictability and trying to figure out when some restrictions will be lifted.

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says he’s pushing tourism for all of Louisiana, but he too would like to see a timeline of when New Orleans might get in line with the state on Covid restrictions.

“We’ve got to start putting some plans together with the understanding that things are trending in the right way, and if they do, we will be able to have these events,” says Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser.

“The challenges that keep emerging are that neighboring states are loosening restrictions dramatically and the pressure that it puts on hospitality workers and our musicians and others to go to those locations, so that they can earn a living. It just continues to mount,’ says Walter Leger III, Executive VP of New Orleans & Company.

The tourism leaders say they’ll remain cautiously optimistic, but they do feel like the tourism industry is finally moving in the right direction.

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