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Based in Atlanta, GA - Rick Limpert is an award-winning writer, a best-selling author, and a featured sports travel writer.

Named the No. 1 Sports Technology writer in the U.S. on Oct 1, 2014.

Entries in Tourism (2)



In Seattle this week for the Smart Kitchen Summit among other things...

Including a visit to the Space Needle.


Has Tourism Come Back to New Orleans?

New Orleans was one of my favorite places to visit.  I haven't been since Hurricane Katrina hit.  Thankfully many other are returning to this great city and area.

On the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, tourism in New Orleans is growing at one of the fastest paces in the U.S., but it remains a fraction of its pre-hurricane levels.

In 2004, New Orleans saw a record 10.1 million visitors; in 2006, post-Katrina, the number had dropped to 3.7 million. But 7.9 million tourists visited New Orleans in 2009, and of the 25 top U.S. destinations, New Orleans had the second-highest growth of revenue per available room in the first half of 2010, according to a report from hotel-industry research and consulting firm Smith Travel Research Inc.

Last week, the Hyatt Regency New Orleans broke ground on a $275 million project to restore the hotel, which was heavily damaged by the storm and has been closed since 2005. The hotel, owned by Hyatt Hotels Corp., is expected to reopen in 2011.

Kelly Schulz, a spokeswoman for the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, a nonprofit that promotes tourism in the region, says next to rebuilding infrastructure, the biggest challenge the tourism industry faced post-Katrina was "convincing people that it was safe to come back."

In the hurricane's aftermath, some of the first visitors to return to New Orleans came to help with the cleanup. Ms. Schulz says that so-called "voluntourism" has become popular with corporations and other organizations. Their employees or members help to rebuild homes and playgrounds when they hold conferences in New Orleans.