LT. GOV. LANDRIEU UNVEILS PLAN TO REBUILD TOURISM AND CULTURAL INDUSTRIES -- 09/20/2005
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2005
LT. GOV. LANDRIEU UNVEILS PLAN TO REBUILD TOURISM AND CULTURAL INDUSTRIES
"Louisiana Rebirth: Restoring the Soul of America"
Baton Rouge, LA - Today, Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu unveiled Louisiana Rebirth: Restoring the Soul of America, a strategic plan to rebuild Louisiana's tourism and cultural industries in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Joined by industry leaders - including, Roger Dow of the Travel Industry of America, Richard Moe of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Jonathan Tisch of the Travel Business Roundtable - Landrieu stated that restoring tourism, arts and culture is crucial to the recovery of Louisiana.
"We have begun the monumental task of rebuilding New Orleans and the surrounding parishes in Southeast Louisiana," Landrieu stated at a press conference held at the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge. "As each day brings new progress, we have been working to marshal every resource to help the vital tourism industry, the second largest industry in our state, rebound."
"I want to thank Lieutenant Governor Mitch Landrieu for his hard work and focus," said Governor Kathleen Blanco. "Last week, I asked each of the statewide elected officials to assess how they can be most helpful in the monumental task we have ahead to rebuild our state and its economy. I am grateful to the Lieutenant Governor for bringing together the tourism, hospitality and cultural industries to unite and coordinate. It is important that as we begin to plan our rebuild efforts and talk about relief that we do so with one clear voice. Louisiana has long enjoyed the impact of a successful tourism, arts and cultural economy and if we work hard we will once again."
Landrieu added, "To rebuild Louisiana better than before, we must understand that Louisiana lives through the creativity and culture of its people. Louisiana is set apart by it's deeply rooted, authentic, and unique culture. We are the soul of the nation."
Louisiana Rebirth: Four Point Plan Louisiana Rebirth outlines four key results crucial to the recovery of our state. For each of these results, the plan identifies strategies, ways to track our results, next steps, and ways to help.
The plan states, "The challenge to re-create and surpass previous achievements will be met immediately and with every public and private resource that can be brought to bear. Our first emphasis will be on promoting the majority of the state's tourism industry, which is still open and operating, in order to restore and retain visitor spending. Simultaneously, we will offer short-term and long-term business assistance to all tourism entities within the state. Workforce development will be an immediate component of rebuilding infrastructure. Research will be the key in determining a long-term national and international image campaign, which will be focused upon rebuilding and restoring the image of New Orleans and Louisiana. Under the leadership of Lt. Governor Mitch Landrieu, the Office of Lieutenant Governor will serve as the flagship for the recovery of the tourism industry for the state of Louisiana." (Page 6)
The effort to create jobs through the cultural industries will be guided by a comprehensive research study conducted by Mt. Auburn Associates, Louisiana: Where Culture Means Business. This study, unveiled at the Lt. Governor's Cultural Economy Conference on August 25th days before Hurricane Katrina made landfall, sets forth objectives and action plans for the economic growth of Louisiana's cultural industries. According to the study, Louisiana's Cultural Economy is a $202 million industry that employs over 140,000 people. Disciplines that make up the cultural economy include: film, music, historic preservation, culinary arts and others.
The Louisiana Rebirth plan states, "In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we must make our Cultural Economy the engine of Louisiana's economic and social rebirth. We will do so by first ensuring that those cultural assets that were damaged by the storm and flooding are restored to good condition, and that those assets that fortunately remain undamaged are properly conserved and maintained. We will make investments that rebuild capacity within our cultural industries, enhance our distribution outlets, promote cultural education, and create marketing to help fuel this rebirth." (Page 10)
To help accomplish this important goal:
To reach the highest standards of accountability and performance management, the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism will:
To view the Louisiana Rebirth plan, log onto www.crt.state.la.us or http://apollonew.crt.state.la.us/LouisianaRebirth/Plan/LouisianaRebirthPlan.pdf.