State officials hope to focus on tourism after pandemic ends
BATON ROUGE - Louisiana's leaders are looking to the future as 2020 comes to a close.
With the aid of vaccines, the spread of the novel coronavirus is expected to end in the near future, and at that point state officials want to focus on rehabilitating the economy by means of a concentrated effort on enhancing Louisiana's tourism industry.
In the past, Mardi Gras season drew visitors from across the nation and world to the Bayou State. But with 2021 carnival events canceled due to COVID-19, tourism is not encouraged. And, a lack of Mardi Gras season tourists means a substantial loss in the profit Louisiana typically sees that time of year.
So, officials are already outlining plans that aim to draw more visitors to the state, once it's safe to do so. With enough tourists passing through and spending money at local hotels, restaurants, and retail/entertainment venues, Louisiana will be able to recover from the blow dealt by the pandemic.
Lieutenant Governor William 'Billy' Nungesser touched on this point recently, saying, "We want to lean forward and fill up our calendar, not just creep back into tourism."
In harmony with Lieutenant Governor Nungesser's statement, President and CEO of Visit Baton Rouge, Paul Arrigo, explained to WBRZ that though the hospitality industry has taken a severe hit due to the spread of COVID-19, it can recover if residents invite their out-of-state friends and family members to visit once health experts announce that it's safe to do so.
By implementing a detailed post-pandemic strategy for Louisiana's tourism industry, officials hope to see the state's economy make a significant improvement.
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