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La. lieutenant governor expects travel to bounce back from pandemic in a big way

Louisiana has a number of great spots to fish and spend some quality time outside.
Louisiana has a number of great spots to fish and spend some quality time outside.(KSLA)
Published: Jul. 9, 2021 at 5:47 AM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - A new study shows more and more people are choosing staycations instead of traveling far from home for a summer trip.

KSLA’s Adria Goins sat down with Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and asked how this will benefit the state’s tourism industry after a tough hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

”Louisianans, by taking a staycation, they’re going to talk about it, share the restaurants and shops with their friends, which will drive more people in the smaller community. More and more people are staying within 115 miles from home for vacation and that bodes well for Louisiana. More and more people are also staying outdoors,” Nungesser said. “We’ve been marketing the drive market ever since Phase 3. We just partnered with Lane Hardy, the American Idol winner. He’s doing fishing commercials for us. You can fish anywhere, but you can catch fish in Louisiana. We are the Sportsman’s Paradise.”

“We continue to add more biking and horseback riding in our parks, so the great outdoors of Louisiana. Lauren Daigle, another partner, Grammy winner, she rerecorded ‘You are my Sunshine’ to a video with all the great things to do outdoors. It is going viral all over the country getting people excited about Louisiana,” Nungesser said.

“We’ve got some areas of the state that are actually doing better than before the shutdown and as I said, our state parks are in the best year yet. We actually have state parks making money for the first time ever.

But will the tourism industry bounce back to where it was before the pandemic?

“I’m optimistic that not only will we get back, prior to the shutdown, we had four record-breaking years of tourism. I’m looking forward to next year breaking records again, promoting Mardi Gras all over Louisiana. We’re going to be doing some new and exciting things all over the country. We’re working on a float in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Lauren Daigle singing ‘You Are My Sunshine.’ So we’re thinking of everything we can do to get back to these record breaking numbers. I think we’ll be back a lot quicker than a lot of states. Talk about putting yourself on the map, going to the Macy’s Day Parade. It absolutely will. We’re excited,” said Nungesser.

For their staycations, most people say they’re going to state parks, national monuments, lakes, and camp sites.

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