SUCCESSFUL MARDI GRAS IS AN ECONOMIC BOON FOR LOUISIANA -- 02/21/2007
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMEDIATE RELEASE
February 21, 2007
SUCCESSFUL MARDI GRAS IS AN ECONOMIC BOON FOR LOUISIANA
New Orleans, LA - As Mardi Gras visitors checked out of hotels and clean-up crews cleared the streets, Louisiana tourism officials claimed victory following a successful Mardi Gras season.
"In 2006, Mardi Gras signaled to the nation and the world that the Louisiana experience was alive and well. This year we built on that success and demonstrated that Louisiana is one of the world's great host states," said Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu. "While we are still tallying economic figures, early indicators show that this season was a shot in the arm for our state's economy."
"Hotel occupancy in our major markets - including New Orleans and Shreveport - was above 90% over Mardi Gras weekend," Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism Secretary Angèle Davis said. "What was really important about this carnival season is that many of our towns and cities saw a significant growth in events and crowds."
According to the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau, the New Orleans region drew more than 700,000 visitors with an economic impact of more than $100 million. In the Greater New Orleans region, Jefferson Parish kicked off of its first annual "Family Gras," featuring outdoor concerts and family friendly events.
Bill Langkopp, Executive Director of the Louisiana Hotel and Lodging Association, stated, "More than 95 percent of New Orleans 30,000 available rooms had been reserved for Mardi Gras Weekend. This is up from 92 percent during Carnival's first weekend, which is very strong."
Mardi Gras is one of Southwest Louisiana's biggest annual attractions. Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach said, "It was very gratifying to see such a high level of participation and attendance at this year's Mardi Gras festivities. Last year, we were recovering from Hurricane Rita and the crowds weren't as large as in years past. But this year's turnout was impressive with big crowds, and everyone was really excited about the activities everywhere I visited in the City."
"Overall, Mardi Gras statewide was a great success," said Chuck Morse, Assistant Secretary of Tourism. "The carnival season provided a real economic boost for our hotels, motels, restaurants, and tourism related businesses."