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LA Tourism Officials Concerned Over New Covid Surge

Courtesy: La Tourism / St. Martin Parish

LA TOURISM ECONOMY – The Louisiana tourism economy has been hurt by the pandemic but it’s  showing signs of a slow comeback.  The state had over  53 million visitors in 2019, the last year before the pandemic  and those visitors pumped  almost $2 billion into the state's economy.  But according to Lt. Billy Nungesser whose office is over Louisiana tourism, 2020’s figures aren’t  available yet, however he did say that some of Louisiana’s outdoor tourism venues did do well during the pandemic. 

"State parks, rural communities have done, some of them, better than 2019 because people were not going to the big cities," Nungesser explained. "They were going to eat and shop in less populated areas and we've seen actually an increase in some areas."

"State parks, rural communities have done, some of them, better than 2019 because people were not going to the big cities," Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser of Louisiana

Nungesser spoke earlier this week before the Baton Rouge Press Club.  One concern he shared was the new Coronavirus surge  and what it could do to the tourism economy.

Credit Courtesy: LPB
Courtesy: LPB
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser spoke to the Baton Rouge Press Club on 8.02.21.

"We're praying  that we won't have to shut nothing down because not only with the plans we have for tourism;  (New Orleans) JazzFest, all the festivals that have invested so much around this state.  I can't imagine if we'd have to have another shutdown." Nungesser said.

Nungesser a Republican,  said he would support whatever it takes to turn the pandemic around and encouraged everyone to wear masks when in public.   He said all Louisiana Welcome Centers and Museums offer free face masks to visitors.

Chuck Smith brings more than 30 years' broadcast and media experience to Red River Radio. He began his career as a radio news reporter and transitioned to television journalism and newsmagazine production. Chuck studied mass communications at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia and motion picture / television production at the University of California at Los Angeles. He has also taught writing for television at York Technical College in Rock Hill, South Carolina and video / film production at Centenary College of Louisiana, Shreveport.