Lt. Gov. Landrieu Announces: Louisiana Tourism Figures for 2007 Show Significant Increase Compared to Last Year -- 05/31/2007
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMEDIATE RELEASE
May 31, 2007
Lt. Gov. Landrieu Announces: Louisiana Tourism Figures for 2007 Show Significant Increase Compared to Last Year
Baton Rouge (May 31, 2007) - Based on the latest research, Lt. Governor Landrieu announces that Louisiana's tourism industry is making progress in reaching its pre-Katrina and Rita success. Projections by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Travel Industry Association of America and the University of New Orleans show that 2007 is expected to bring more than 22.2 million visitors into the state and generate more than $7.2 billion in visitor spending.
"While we still have a long way to go, visitation numbers, visitor spending and intent to visit are all on the upswing," Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu said. "These figures indicate that visitors are responding to our message that Louisiana is open for business and ready to offer visitors an authentic experience."
In the months of 2005 prior to Katrina and Rita, Louisiana attracted more than 18 million visitors who spent upwards of $8 billion. Early projections for 2010 indicate greater than 24 million visitors and more than $8.6 billion in visitor spending.
Landrieu added, "We are now pushing legislation (HB 270) to lift the cap on funding for tourism promotion, so that and we can re-invest our tourism generated revenues into the most efficient means of bringing visitors back to Louisiana."
Authored by Chairman John Alario, HB 270 will be heard in the Senate Finance Committee today. The legislation would remove the limitation on the proceeds of the sales and use tax levied by the Louisiana Tourism Promotion District dedicated and pledged to tourism promotion. By removing the cap, HB 270 would increase monies for the state's advertising and other marketing efforts and help rebuild the state tourism industry.
Projected collections for FY 2007-08 are $25.5 million. The cap for 2007-08 is $18.7 million. If the cap is lifted, the difference of $6.8 million will go towards marketing the state to potential visitors.
"We use research to drive our decisions in developing an integrated marketing approach that includes targeted messaging through paid advertising, public relations initiatives and the internet to adapt to the constantly changing motivations for Louisiana's traveler," said Angele Davis, Secretary of the Louisiana Office of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
Research by LSU E.J. Ourso College of Business shows that the "Thank You" advertising campaign, featuring Louisiana celebrities, launched on the heels of Katrina and Rita was effective.
Subsequent potential visitor survey results showed that potential visitors' interests changed from appreciating being thanked, to finding out what to see and do in the state. This feedback led to the "Come Fall In Love" campaign, featuring the same Louisiana celebrities.
The celebrity campaigns triggered a spike in regional intent to visit of 43% in 2006, compared to 37% in 2005. National intent to visit remained flat during this time period, but the Louisiana Office of Tourism believes that continued targeted messaging will generate an increase in this category.