Acadiana Business

By the Numbers: 9.01 million

by Leslie Turk

New Orleans' visitor count in 2012, the second highest on record NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A University of New Orleans researcher says tourists no longer think of New Orleans as only the French Quarter and food.

John Williams, director of UNO's Hospitality Research Center, says surveys of 15,000 visitors last year found that the biggest draw was the variety of places to go and things to do in the city, including museums, festivals and parades.

The center reported Tuesday that 9 million visitors spent a record $6 billion in New Orleans last year. The number was the second-highest ever and the highest since Hurricane Katrina.

In 2004, a record 10.1 million visitors spent $4.8 billion in New Orleans.

The New Orleans Metropolitan Convention and Visitors Bureau and New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corp. released results of the study Tuesday.

Read more from the Times-Picayune here.