Hope for Tourism Industry in New Orleans

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Travel and tourism executives have been touring hurricane-ravaged New Orleans. They say they are surprised by how quickly the city is recovering.

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Now travel and tourism executives from across the country say they're surprised by how quickly New Orleans is recovering. Before Katrina, New Orleans was heading for its third straight record year for tourism--it's not gonna happen now--but yesterday, three months to the day that Katrina struck, board members of the Travel Industry Association of America toured the city and many said the city was in better shape than they expected. The French Quarter and the Garden District, the big tourist draws, were not in bad shape after the storm. It's residential neighborhoods that were more often destroyed, ordinary residential neighborhoods. Plans are already in the works for Mardi Gras in February, and last week it was announced the party will go on, although the celebrations will be four days shorter than usual.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

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