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Mardi Gras bringing welcomed tourism to the Big Easy

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airport(rob masson)
Published: Feb. 17, 2022 at 5:10 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - For the first time in two years, the airport, the expressway, and the cruise ship terminal are teeming with tourists.

The next two weekends will be filled with Carnival activities and people in the hospitality industry, from taxi drivers to tourism leaders, are ready.

Passengers flying into Armstrong International Airport are on the uptick through Carnival, and taxi cabs are once again rolling on the expressway, ferrying an ever-increasing number of visitors.

The next two weekends will be even busier.

“I know hotels are well over 85%, which is a great sign cause we’re gonna have a great Mardi Gras,” said Mayor LaToya Cantrell.

Though tourists are glad to be on the move again, some have been caught off guard by the cities COVID restrictions.

“We can’t go in that sandwich shop in there so we are going to go eat and I’m gonna come back,” said Arkansas visitor Sherry Streichen.

In spite of the restrictions, the next two weeks should be close to normal.

“We are not quite back to pre-pandemic but we are seeing a lot of demand,” said Kelly Schulz with New Orleans and Company.

Though the city’s hotel occupancy rate is around 90% for next weekend, occupancy is expected to be a little lower for Fat Tuesday, which city officials say is not unusual.

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