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As Uptown said, New Orleans' economy is based around the tourism industry. You are right, mlurye, in that tourism is not an extremely stable industry and it basically fluctuates up and down with the national economy. Still, you are usually pretty sure of what you're going to get in any given year (roughly) without catastrophic events such as 9/11 or Katrina.

About New Orleans' economic recovery depending on tourism, I think that was expected. New Orleans made the shift from being an oil town to an international tourist destination, and because of that, we do have those high end restuarants and big name hotels all over the city. Not to mention things like the convention center and cruise ship terminals which were built for the tourism industry with money brought in from the tourism industry. Because all of those things are in the city, and the city's economy and much of the labor force center around them, they have to be the first things to rise in the wake of a disaster like Katrina. Once the center of the economy is really rolling...then you can focus on diversifying the New Orleans economy, which I think is very necessary.

I don't think New Orleans needs to change it's economy altogether; certainly not. The city has done an excellent job marketing itself as a major tourist destination, to the point where we've got flights coming in from all over Europe and even Asia for Jazz Fest, which isn't even close to being as big of a draw as Mardi Gras in NOLA. And of course you've got industries like oil/enery and shipping that will never leave this city. But I think the key to New Orleans' future economic success will just be taking advantage of what could be coming our way. Health Care seems to be making a major comeback downtown, bio-science is a developing medical field that has major roots in New Orleans because of Tulane and LSU, and Michoud will be a major part of the future of NASA. If we can develop some solid bases in the health care and science industries, along with expanding our energy, shipping, and manufacturing industries (especially the port) I think we will really see the economy gradually expand outward.

Again though, it all comes down to leadership. This city will have quite a few opportunities to improve its future economic position, but the question is, will we take advantage of them? I'm optimistic...but most of the answer to that question is far from being determined.

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Well said! We certainly do need to diversify our economy, but being a tourist town is great too! We have many things other cities would kill for! Recent elections leave me very hopeful we can take advantage of furture oppurtunities! With our governor being of Indian descent,I think we should strive to become a portal for India based businesses to operate in the US! Medicine, trade(hopefully when Cuba opens up we take advantage of that).

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