Record Number of Visitors in 2019 – How Do We Get Them Back?
Final tourism numbers for 2019 show more than 53 million people visited Louisiana in 2019 which is a record. That's nearly 4% more than the numbers from 2018 when just over 51 million people came to our state to enjoy some of the sights, sounds and food of our state.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says he has put a plan in place to try to get visitors to start coming back to our state once restrictions are lifted. Bringing tourist dollars back is critical for Louisiana. Guests to the Bayou State spent almost $19 billion dollars while visiting Louisiana and that brought in nearly $2 billion in sales tax dollars for the state and local governments. Nungesser says he is pulling out all the stops to get that back up and going again as soon as possible.
Nungesser says we have faced tough hurdles before. He cites Hurricane Katrina, the floods of 2016 and the BP oil spill as examples of huge hurdles that we have been able to overcome and recover from.
He says "we will once again come back stronger. We are Louisiana Strong.”
The Lt. Governor says he is putting a plan in place to lure conventions and meetings to Louisiana. He says he wants to remove the 10% cap on in-state spending. So he plans to give financial aid to convention and tourist bureaus, the Mainstreet programs and any event that takes place in the state of Louisiana. "We will promote these events through social media when it's safe to travel."
Nungesser is also pulling out all the stops to try to attract big events to all parts of the state. He says "we've got Louisiana Lagniappe and are offering that to any groups that have cancelled events in other states. He adds "we are offering Louisiana seafood and a musician to play at your event. If you book your event in Louisiana, we will even pay for the ballroom or hotel where you want to hold your event. And we'll pay for your first party." He says that is pretty persuasive to many of these groups that are hurting financially as they look to rebook their shows and conventions.