SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — Tourism in Louisiana has taken a big hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
It’s an industry that, in 2019, brought over 53 million people, and nearly $19 billion to the state, and it’s been at a virtual standstill for nearly two months. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser says that also means lost revenue in terms of taxes from those visitors.
“They left behind $1.9 billion in taxes you and I didn’t have to pay,” Lt. Governor Nungesser said. “That’s over $1,100 per family.”
As a way to jump-start the tourism economy, Lt. Governor Nungesser is reopening state parks beginning this Friday. During phase one, visitors will be limited to just Louisiana residents, but the Lt. Governor is encouraging Louisianans to enjoy a “stay-cation.”
“Our best marketing tool is Louisianans,” Lt. Governor Nungesser said. “They’re going to take some pictures. They’re going to catch some fish in the state parks. They’re going to eat some incredible food, listen to some great musicians, and they’ll share that with their friends and family.”
The Lt. Governor’s office is also offering the Louisiana Lagniappe. That means out of state groups that book their events in Louisiana will be treated to Louisiana seafood, a local musician, and have their hall or ballroom paid for by the Lt. Governor’s office.
“That will help our seafood industry, our restaurants and caterers,” Lt. Governor Nungesser said, “and it will help our musicians make some money.”