Louisiana Tourism Industry Big Winner in Senate Today -- 06/07/2007
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMEDIATE RELEASE
June 6, 2007
Louisiana Tourism Industry Big Winner in Senate Today
Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu Announces Passage of House Bill 270
Legislation Ensures Additional Millions Available for State to Promote Tourism
Baton Rouge (June 7, 2007) - House Bill 270, legislation designed to increase monies for the State's Tourism Promotion efforts, passed the Louisiana State Senate this afternoon without opposition. The bill has passed the house and today's wining vote in the Senate, 32 to 0, ensures the legislation will move to the Governor's desk for signature.
"Louisiana Tourism is rebounding and, as a result of this legislation, the state will have another $6.8 million dollars to market our food, music and culture to potential visitors," Landrieu said. "This additional money will help us spread the word that Louisiana is open and ready for business. I thank house and senate members for their support."
The Legislation, authored by House Appropriations Committee Chairman John Alario and strongly supported by Lt. Governor Landrieu, removes the limitation on the proceeds of the sales and use tax levied by the Louisiana Tourism Promotion District (LTPD) that is dedicated and pledged to tourism promotion. Through the LTPD, the Office of Tourism in the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, receives .03 percent of the tax collected statewide.
Projected collections for FY 2007-08 are $25.5 million. Prior to passage of the legislation, Tourism Promotion spending for FY 2007-08 would have been capped at $18.7 million. With removal of the cap, the department will have access to an additional $6.8 million.
Landrieu said the additional funds would be used to give potential tourists a true picture of Louisiana. "Our advertising campaigns have been very successful in presenting positive images of the state and correcting misconceptions about the status and availability of our tourist attractions, hotels, and restaurants," he said.
Angele Davis, Secretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism said the added investments in advertising would have an enviable return. "This increased funding will allow us to become more competitive, while at the same expedite our industry recovery." she said. "This will generate $8.40 in tax revenue for every dollar spent, amounting to $53.8 million in new state tax revenues."
Louisiana's travel industry employs over 110,000 people and is the second largest industry in the state.
Chuck Morse, DCRT Assistant Secretary and Director of the Office of Tourism, said the support of our tourism partners was crucial to passage of the bill. "The Travel Industry and the Office of Tourism were united in efforts to lobby the legislature for passage of this bill. We are determined to make Louisiana the number one tourism destination in the world."
Supporters of the Legislation included The Louisiana Tourism Promotion District (LTPD, Louisiana Travel and Promotion Association (LTPA), The Louisiana Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (LACVB), the Louisianan Hotel-Motel Association, and the Louisiana Restaurant Association.