According to an announcement on the New Orleans CVB Web site:
Earlier, the CVB said it was cancelling just through September, but later extended the cancellation period.
Also from the site:
The CVB President will be at the Lt. Governor's Office in Baton Rouge Thursday afternoon to meet with staff there and with Bill Langkopp who is Executive Director of the Greater New Orleans Hotel and Lodging Association. CVB Senior staff will be making their way from muiltiple evacuation locations to join Mr. Perry in Baton Rouge over the weekend to form an executive team with more advanced communications capabilities for next week. Some sales managers are now reaching Baton Rouge and will be joining as well.
We will work with airlines over the next few days to ask for forbearance on issues related to fees on rescheduling flights, particularly as they relate to meetings and conventions. We expect the airlines to respond appropriately and assist you, particulary in a natural disaster situation such as this one. However, you must work directly with the airlines yourself on your individual situations as we do not have the manpower or communications systems to do so.
Our ability to work with and contact our member hotels and other member companies is severely impaired as of this update. Please be patient with our wonderful suppliers and properties who are under incalculable stress at this time. Planning meetings between tourism and government leaders will likely not occur until next week, as government agencies, companies and individuals remaining in New Orleans are engaged in basic survival, securing property, acquiring water and food, and ardently managing their commitments to citizens, guests, employees, and property preservation.
The situation in New Orleans deteriorated Wednesday with advancing floodwaters from the 17th Street Canal levee break and efforts are being made to evacuate all remaining persons from the city.
There are no means currently of bringing groups together to discuss strategic issues. Public safety issues are the dominant concern at this time.
The CVB office on St. Charles Avenue is closed and is not likely to have power restored for three or four weeks in a best case scenario. It could take many more weeks. Updates will be regularly given.
To our knowledge, all CVB personnel are safe. Virtually all were asked to evacuate and relocate. Those few who remained cannot be contacted or reached for the most part, but are assumed safe. Only those who evacuated are able to work with you at some level at this time. It is estimated that more than 90% of the CVB staff will have sustained major home damage or outright loss of their homes.
Longtime CVB Vice President Nikki Nicholson, who retired 18 months ago to buy a bed and breakfast in Bay St. Louis Mississippi has barely survived. Nikki attempted to stay and ride out the storm in her b&b, but the storm destroyed her home around her and she and her dog survived clinging to a tree until rescued.
Our information and web team lost all power and internet access during the day Monday. I have continued to write updates to the website as I have gained spotty windows of internet access and will continue to do so as able. We apologize for any inadequacies of information and are doing our best to maintain communication with all emergency preparedness entities and with all travelers, meeting planners, and tour operators. Please work with our regional offices in the meantime. Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. I am sorry we cannot speak personally to each of you who have important questions at this time.
J. Stephen Perry President/CEO