Every aspect of Mardi Gras is an unforgettable experience, but did you know that the holiday has an enormous economic impact on the city of New Orleans? Check out just a few of the many ways that Mardi Gras boosted our economy:
- Hotels were full over the weekend and had strong occupancy through Lundi Gras and Fat Tuesday
- New Orleans typically welcomes more than one million visitors in the two weeks of Mardi Gras
- More than 500,000 king cakes are sold each year in New Orleans between Jan. 6 and Fat Tuesday
- Another 50,000 king cakes are shipped out-of-state via overnight courier
- Overall, a recent University of New Orleans study estimates that Mardi Gras generates more than $850 million annually
This year in particular, Mardi Gras was especially successful in terms of drawing in visitors. The reason? The Saturday before Mardi Gras also coincided with Valentine’s Day, and Lundi Gras occurred on President’s Day. Whether visitors were enjoying the Lundi Gras festivities at the Riverfront (the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau had a sponsored tent to welcome all its NEW ORLEANS WILL fans!) or simply watching the parades on St. Charles Avenue, they were treated to an experience like no other featuring floats, live music, and festive revelry.
Stay tuned for more information on the economic impact of 2015 Mardi Gras. We can’t wait to review the tally of the final numbers to see how this year’s festival was especially fruitful for the tourism industry and the City of New Orleans!