With hundreds of visitors expected to attend Baton Rouge events, city taking extra precautions
BATON ROUGE - The Travel South Showcase convention is taking place in Baton Rouge this weekend, bringing more than 700 visitors to town, however, it comes at a time when many are worried about the coronavirus.
"There doesn't appear to be a lot of concern at this time, with exception of two cancellations, I believe as a result over concerns of coronavirus," said Paul Arrigo, CEO and president of Visit Baton Rouge.
Landing the convention that promotes travel vacations and conventions in the southern part of the country is a coup for Baton Rouge that's expected to bring thousands of tourism dollars.
"It usually goes to destination cities, Last year it was in Myrtle Beach, so we're fortunate enough to have it this year," Arrigo said.
With the threat of the coronavirus, Arrigo says his organization has ordered additional hand sanitizers and disinfected wipes, that have been placed throughout the Raising Cane's River Center, the convention site, and at the Baton Rouge Regional Airport.
"We're doing what can to best protect and ensure the safety and protection of our visitors here in Baton Rouge," Arrigo said.
Tourism officials also say the festival season is almost here, which will attract large crowds to the area for a number of events.
"We're monitoring it, and we're looking at, every time there is a group of people to gather, the appropriate procedure," Arrigo said.
Arrigo is already preparing for the Blues Festival next month. It is one of the biggest events held in Baton Rouge, bringing thousands of visitors and musicians to the area from around the country.