New Orleans hotel operators say occupancy is the highest in more than a decade. They credit refurbished hotels, a jam-packed calendar and continued recovery from the levee breaches after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Room rates are up, too. The Times-Picayune reports that Smith Travel Research quotes the city's average daily hotel rate at $154 — the highest since February 2002, when it averaged $159.40 a night.
Rates through April of this year averaged $148.61. That's 12.6 percent better than same four months last year.