New Orleans breaks post-Katrina tourism record in 2012

Published: Mar. 12, 2013 at 5:47 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 19, 2013 at 5:47 PM CDT
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Tourists stroll a French Quarter street (File)
Tourists stroll a French Quarter street (File)

New Orleans, La.- New Orleans shatters another tourism record.

Tourism leaders say 9.01 million visitors came to the city in 2012. That's the highest number since Hurricane Katrina, surpassed only by 10.4 million visitors in 2004, the year before the storm.

Visitors from all over the world made their way to the city in 2013, driven by events like the BCS Championship Game, the VooDoo experience and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation says those visitors spent $6 billion, a 9-percent increase over 2012 and the highest spending in the city's history.

The data comes from the 2012 New Orleans Area Visitor Profile study conducted by the UNO Hospitality Research Center.

City leaders say they couldn't be more pleased.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu said, "The continued growth of both visitor numbers and spending is a reflection of the hard work of our hospitality industry."

Landrieu said he expects the upward trajectory to continue.

The Visitor Profile Study found that more than three-fourths of the visitors come to the city for vacation or pleasure. Almost 14 percent traveled to New Orleans for conventions, trade shows or corporate meetings.