In Brief 1-08

The Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans hosted 43 events in 2006 that drew a total of 181,595 attendees, slightly more than half of what the center drew in the first eight months of 2005, prior to Hurricane Katrina. The related economic boost to the city, per a report released by the University of New Orleans, was $719.4 million.

The internal revenue service has increased the mileage rate for automobile business travel in 2008 to 50.5 cents per mile, up from 48.5 cents in 2007.

The European Commission has released its annual blacklist naming airlines that fail to meet safety regulations, as well as any carriers banned from operating within the European Union. The full list can be found at

Crowne Plaza properties grew by 51 percent during the first nine months of 2007, making it the fastest-growing U.S. upscale hotel brand. Twenty hotels, representing 6,000 rooms, were opened in that period; another 34 properties are in the pipeline.