Dwindling BP grant money a tourism concern
BATON ROUGE - Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne said today that even after a record-setting year for Louisiana tourism, the budget is still a concern.
Dardenne said 26.3 million people visited the state in 2012, generating $665 million in tax revenue. He said the concern is over the dwindling grant money provided by BP after the 2010 oil spill, and the fact that other states in the Gulf Coast are increasing their tourism budgets.
At a tourism summit Tuesday, Dardenne also floated the idea of a fund set up specifically to attract the Super Bowl in 2018 and beyond, as well as the game that will eventually replace the BCS National Championship.
Millions of dollars are taken out of the tourism budget in years during which recruiting those events is a priority, which Dardenne says isn't sustainable in the long-term.
His potenial run for governor is also still on the table. Today Dardenne said the looming campaign, which hasn't been officially announced yet, would not affect his duties as lieutenant governor.