BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser says tourism is back in Louisiana after the COVID-19 pandemic as he celebrates “record crowds” at the state’s most recent festivals.
“Tourism is coming back strong in Louisiana and our travel industry is poised to make significant strides following the challenges of the pandemic,” said Nungesser. “Mardi Gras was a huge success statewide and we have already seen record crowds at Louisiana springtime festivals such as the Strawberry Festival in Ponchatoula, the Scott Boudin Festival and French Quarter Festival,” added Lt. Governor Nungesser.
During his Monday State of Tourism address, Nungesser said 41 million visitors came to the state in 2021. He also noted an uptick in web traffic to LouisianaTravel.com, which saw a 162% increase from 2020 to 2021.
“After five years of consecutive record-breaking tourism numbers jumping to over 53 million in 2019 and the halt of tourism after Mardi Gras 2020, we are now seeing the hotels, restaurants, events, and festivals across the state spring back to life,” said Nungesser. “With a 29% increase over 2020, the announcement of increasing visitation again gives hope and encouragement to the tourism and hospitality industries who have persevered, once again ranking Louisiana in the top 10 desired destinations on many national travel sources.”
National Travel and Tourism Week is taking place from May 1-7 and this year’s theme, “The Future of Travel,” focuses on restoring the workforce within the travel industry, along with helping communities introduce new innovations, according to Nungesser’s office.
“The future of travel is opportunity. It’s the chance to rebuild our hospitality industry and welcome people from all over the world to enjoy our rich cultural heritage, unique and unforgettable cuisine and music,” said Nungesser.
He said tourism is the state’s fourth-largest employer, with over 250,000 people employed.
“People are eager to travel again and we are ready to welcome our domestic and international visitors with open arms,” said Doug Bourgeois, secretary of the Louisiana Office of Tourism. “Our continued success in attracting visitors to Louisiana requires coordinated teamwork between the Louisiana Office of Tourism and our tourism partners across the state.”
National Travel and Tourism Week stops:
Monday, May 2, 2022
Tangipahoa Parish Convention & Visitors Bureau Tourism Breakfast
13143 Wardline Road Hammond, LA 70401
7:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
State of Tourism Address by Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser
Louisiana State Library
701 North 4th Street Baton Rouge, LA
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Louisiana Seafood Celebration and Legislative Reception
Capitol Park Museum
660 N. 4th Street Baton Rouge, LA
5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Tuesday, May 3, 2022
New Orleans & Co. Tourism Parade and Pep Rally
Tableau Restaurant Courtyard
616 St. Peter New Orleans, LA
8:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
8:30 a.m. Press Conference
9:00 a.m. Parade Begins traveling to Woldenberg Park Capital One Pavilion
1 Canal Place New Orleans, LA
Visit Jefferson Parish Tourism Luncheon
Chateau Country Club
3600 Chateau Blvd. Kenner, LA
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism Ambassador Awards Luncheon
Lockport Recreation Center
5610 Highway 1 Lockport, LA
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Ascension Parish Tourism Press Conference
Houmas House and Gardens
40136 LA 942 Darrow, LA
3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Thursday, May 5, 2022
Visit Lafayette Parish Tourism Breakfast
Cajundome Convention Center
444 Cajundome Blvd. Lafayette, LA
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Rapides Parish Tourism Awareness Lunch
Randolph Riverfront Center
707 2nd Street Alexandria, LA
11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Friday, May 6, 2022
Louisiana Tech University
Davison Athletics Complex
1524 West Alabama Ave. Ruston, LA
8:30 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.
Monroe – West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau Awards Luncheon
University of Louisiana at Monroe
100 Warhawk Way Monroe, LA
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.