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Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser Announces Fifth Consecutive Year of Record-Breaking Tourism Numbers

June 5, 2017 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser announced 2016 as the fifth consecutive record-breaking year for tourism in Louisiana. The state welcomed a record high 46.7 million visitors in 2016, representing an increase of 2.57 percent over the 45.1 million visitors reported by DK Shifflet and Associates in 2015. Those visitors spent $16.8 billion, or an average of $360 per person. The travel and tourism industry generated $1.04 billion in state tax revenue, an increase of 23.4 percent over the $843 million generated in 2015. This revenue represents a 40-to-1 return on investment of state funding. Tax revenue generated through travel and tourism spending saves each household in Louisiana $601 a year in taxes that would be needed to maintain current revenues. Additionally, with more than 231,500 people employed in tourism related jobs, the industry continues to be one of the top five employers in Louisiana.

“This fifth record-setting year is more proof that we must continue to invest in tourism in Louisiana,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “Simply put, the more people we attract to visit Louisiana, the more state tax revenue we can generate; however, that starts with continuing to invest in the efforts to promote Louisiana as a desirable tourism destination.”

“As the Lieutenant Governor mentioned, reaching this milestone takes a commitment to funding, but it also takes great teamwork,” said Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston. “The teamwork starts at the top with the leadership of Lt. Governor Nungesser, and then the hard work of the LOT staff to implement the plan and directions. Through our partnerships and cooperative marketing programs with the local convention and visitors bureaus, tourist commissions, and attractions across the state, we have been able to promote Louisiana around the country and world to see this fifth consecutive record-breaking year in tourism.”

The state also saw increases in the number of hotel rooms sold and passengers arriving and departing from Louisiana airports in 2016. A total of 21.7 million hotels rooms were sold in 2016, increasing from 21.4 million in 2015 or 1.4 percent. And, more than 13.4 million passengers traveled into and out of the state, increasing 2 percent from 13.2 million in 2015. Likewise, more than 6.74 million passengers were enplaned at Louisiana airports, representing a 2.2 percent increase from 6.59 million in 2015.

“A fifth consecutive year of growth is a great testament to the Louisiana Travel Industry and the hard work they do to showcase, advertise, and promote the state,” said Jill Kidder, CEO of the Louisiana Tourism Promotion Association. “At a time when many cities and parishes are experiencing a slowdown in the economic impact of the oil industry, statewide we continue to show strong hotel occupancy increases.”

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