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
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.
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