Lieutenant Governor works to revive Louisiana tourism
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nunguesser visited Lake Charles on Tuesday to talk about reviving the tourism industry through expansion of projects like the Sunshine Plan.
He spoke at the Louisiana Travel Association CEO Forum hosted at the Golden Nugget.
The tourism industry has taken a hit since the pandemic started, with some of the state’s biggest attractions cancelled this past year. In 2019, over 53 million people visited the state of Louisiana causing a $19.1 billion impact to the economy.
“We have a long way to go to get back to those record breaking numbers,” Nungesser said.
The Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism created the Sunshine Plan as travelers gain confidence they can travel safely.
“We continue to make it a little easier to get those grants, those applications, and expedite the red tape for business and individuals alone.”
Nungesser developed the grant program to support recovery in the travel and tourism industry. The plan includes multiple phases based on traveler confidence.
“The industry hit the hardest has been the hospitality industry: hotels, attractions, restaurants, all the things people come to Louisiana to enjoy.”
On the west side of the state, the two hurricanes had an even bigger financial loss for many businesses that were already struggling because of the pandemic.
“Remember, this is the first hurricane that entered Louisiana as a hurricane and left north Louisiana. So, we want to do a little bit extra in promoting anything that goes on in that area to help them bounce back just a little quicker.”
He also mentioned his Louisiana Lagniappe plan: free seafood and a free live music from Louisiana is being offered to groups who plan or move events back into the state.
Since Louisiana has lost $4.9 billion in travel spending within the last year, Nungesser said he is hoping these plans will start to help with all the time and money lost.
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