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Big Easy sees meetings, conventions decrease

NEW ORLEANS — Attendance at meetings and conventions in New Orleans dropped in 2009 as travelers and exhibitors took a tighter hold on their money.

Tourism officials say that although the city played host to more meetings in 2009 than in the previous three years following Hurricane Katrina, attendance dropped 10 to 25 percent, depending on the event.

Following Katrina, the convention business saw major year-to-year gains in attendance in 2007 and 2008.

All told, there were about 634,000 attendees at meetings held at the New Orleans convention center in 2009, about 58,000 fewer than the convention center had anticipated at the end of 2008. About 684,000 people attended events there in 2008.

The figures do not include meetings held in hotels.

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