LT. GOV VISIT- Louisiana’s Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser visited Northwest Louisiana this week.
On Tuesday he spoke at the State Voter Registrars Conference held at the Horseshoe Casino in Bossier. I got a chance to catch up with him and asked about state tourism which his office promotes; AND also about his recent trip to China as part of a U.S. tourism delegation, which included the grand-daughter of famous Louisiana Veteran - General Claire Lee Chennault for whom the Chinese have high regard. Prior to America entering World War 2, Chennault commanded an American Volunteer Group –known as the “Flying Tigers” who flew combat missions in China.
"The Chinese in Shanghai issues 4,000 visas a day (for) coming to America, one city. We just need a portion of those," explained Nungesser. "They spend on average $6,900 per visitor from China, more than any other visitor from any other country. They love to shop; a great opportunity for us here in Louisiana to grow that market. And using that history of General Chennault and the Flying Tigers is a great way to promote Northern Louisiana."
When asked about what impact the recent government shutdown had on Louisiana tourism, Nungesser had some good news to share.
"We actually saw an uptick in the state parks because people couldn't go to the national parks. We felt they drove here to visit our state parks. So it really didn't affect us.," said Nungesser. "We're doing a great job at marketing the great outdoors of Louisiana with our partners from all over the state. The fishing, the bird watching. the Atchafalaya Basin, the state parks. So we've seen a great increase in outdoor activity tourism in Louisiana over the last two years."
A side note - Nungesser was refererring to the Chenault Aviation-Military Museum which is located in Monroe, La. The Lt. Governor finished his day in Winnsboro, LA where he spoke at the Winnsboro-Franklin Parish Chamber of Commerce Installation Banquet that evening.