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More than a year after start of pandemic, tourism industry in La. starting to bounce back

Louisiana capitol
Louisiana capitol(WAFB)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 1:20 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2021 at 5:48 PM CDT
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) - The tourism business was hit hard during the heart of the pandemic in 2020. Many festivals and events were canceled.

A year later, the industry is on the upswing at a time when cases are rising once again. This time around, events are back up and running.

“Our culture’s on display; our food, our music, everything that makes Shreveport, Bossier City special in on display,” said Brandy Evans with the Convention and Tourism Bureau.

It’s a breath of fresh air for the thousands that work in the tourism and entertainment industries, after a year of cancellations.

“Last year, 79 events were canceled as a result of the pandemic. We lost well over 20 million dollars in direct economic impact,” Evans said.

Since then, she said most events have resumed this year, and some are even expanding their programs. According to a study by Louisiana State University, Shreveport-Bossier saw the 3rd largest loss in 2020 behind New Orleans and Baton Rouge.

Even though these events are on the upswing, COVID hasn’t gone anywhere. In fact, Louisiana reported the third highest daily case count this week since the beginning of the pandemic.

“Louisiana now has at least double the number of people hospitalized,” said Dr. Joseph Bocchini, with Willis-Knighton Health System.

Anouk Brumfield is the community liaison for Shreveport Blues & Southern Soul Festival. She said they will still be offering sanitization stations and encouraging masks.

“We’re hoping that things will taper off, but we’re adhering to all CDC guidelines and any local and state guidelines to keep people safe,” said Brumfield.

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