NEW ORLEANS -- Yankee Holidays is back, and its Big Easy business
A surge in room capacity lured the Beverly, Mass.-based tour
operator back to New Orleans last year, after "too many blackouts"
had prompted a four-year hiatus, according to company president
Charles de Gaspe Beaubien.
Today, the city is the second most popular destination for the
specialist in North American city packages, he said.
About 8,000 rooms have been added since Yankee Holidays' pullout
in 1996, bringing the city's total capacity to 33,000, according to
Beverly Gianna, vice president of public affairs of the New Orleans
Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau. The additions run from
budget-priced hotels to luxury properties.
"[When] we heard there were a lot of new hotels, new products,
we decided to check it out, and we were very happy about it," said
de Gaspe Beaubien.
Yankee Holidays offers five basic package types for New Orleans
but will customize them for groups of 10 or more.
The basic, no-frills package is the New Orleans Experience. The
two-night plan includes hotel accommodations and admission to Mardi
Gras World in nearby Algiers, where visitors can watch the Mardi
Gras floats being built.
The package is offered with a choice of 10 hotels. At the
Hampton Inn, the price is $139 per person, double. With the Hotel
Monaco, the price is $200 per person, double.
The New Orleans Adventure is a three-night package with a few
more features, such as dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe and a
bayou/swamp tour. Designed for families, the plan starts at $308
per person, double.
Bon Appetit New Orleans is designed for food lovers and couples.
The five-night package offers many great dining experiences,
including a class and lunch at the New Orleans School of Cooking.
It starts at $565 per person, double.
New Orleans Accent is a four-night program that gives a general
impression of the city, with an emphasis on food and sightseeing.
It includes a French Quarter walking tour and a Ghosts and Spirits
evening walking tour.
The three-night Let the Good Times Roll plan is targeted to
younger adults interested in the city's nightlife.
It includes the Crescent City Nights Walking Tour, which visits
Tujague's restaurant, home of one of the oldest bars in the South,
and a Bourbon Street nightclub.
The package is priced from $326 per person, double.
Yankee Holidays can be reached at (800) 255-2550 or at www.yankee-holidays.com.