New Orleans holds first major, post-Katrina convention

New Orleans passed a major milestone with the successful conclusion of its first major convention since Hurricane Katrina devastated the city nine months ago.

The success was a significant boost for a state in which tourism and related industries employed 13% of the workforce before Katrina, representing $9.6 billion impact on the economy and 126,000 jobs.

The American Library Associations Annual Convention was held at the Morial Convention Center, which had recently completed a $60 million renovation. The event, held from June 24 to 27, brought an estimated 18,000 visitors to the city and created an estimated $20 million boost to the citys economy, according to the New Orleans Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau.

New Orleans Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu said the city is hitting the targets established in the strategic plan for redevelopment that was established in the wake of Katrina.

ALA President Michael Gorman said the conference was a smashing success and said that the many organizations that were watching to see if New Orleans was ready yet to handle conventions could be assured that New Orleans is a wonderful place to have a convention.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to David Cogswell at[email protected].

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