New Orleans is at the No. 9 spot among 10 of the most expensive cities in the U.S. to visit, based on the average cost of a hotel room. Forbes says New Orleans saw a 12 percent increase in hotel prices following a post-Katrina slump, putting the average hotel at $132.27 a night in 2010 (a jump from 2009's $118). That data comes from Hotels.com and excludes discounted rates and your couch, paid for by a visiting friend in beer and a fancy dinner.
But Expedia.com has them now at $150 — which, with Forbes' current data, would make it the fourth most expensive tourist destination in the U.S., just behind Boston, Honolulu and New York City.
So, while the rest of the city enjoys a (comparatively) inexpensive lifestyle, tourists in 2010 paid for the ninth most expensive trip in the U.S. Add overpriced jambalaya and "Cajun fare", cabs or parking, and French Quarter tourist shops, and that's a hefty end-of-trip bill.
Now New Orleans collectively braces for waves of emails and phone calls from friends and relatives seeking couches on which to crash.