Package tour companies return to New Orleans

Four tour operators are returning to New Orleans with vacation packages. The New York Times (free registration required) reported that Collette Vacations, Globus, Cosmos, and Trafalgar are all offering upcoming tours. In some cases, tours include volunteer opportunities, and profits from Collette Vacations' five-day tours go toward Hurricane Katrina relief.

This reflects the trend toward travel back to the Crescent City that's been gathering speed since Mardi Gras. Tourism dollars are an important part of rebuilding, and travel to the area is a way of letting people see what's going on and get involved if they wish.

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