BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It was another record-breaking year for the tourism industry in Louisiana, according to Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne.
Dardenne's office of tourism reports that last year 27.3 million visitors came to Louisiana, a four percent increase over 2012, resulting in $10.8 billion in total visitor spending. The $807 million in state tax revenue generated through domestic and international visitors represents a more than 34-to-1 return on investment of state funding.
"Tourism had a great year thanks to creative marketing, dedicated industry leaders throughout the state and an incredible product—the many passions Louisiana offers," Dardenne says. "More than 210,000 Louisianians are employed thanks to the travel and tourism industry, making it the fifth largest employment sector in the state. And I'm especially proud of the geographical diversity of our visitation. We welcomed one million more tourists in 2013 than the previous year and 700,000 of them visited markets outside New Orleans."
In 2012, Louisiana set all-time records for visitation. Numbers that were surpassed in 2013. The industry took notice and the Louisiana Office of Tourism racked up accolades, including the Southeast Tourism Society's 2013 State Tourism Office of the Year, a No. 8 ranking for LouisianaTravel.com social media and being only the second state tourism office to receive international accreditation from Destination Marketing Association International.
Additional 2013 tourism statistics:
• Louisiana's average daily rate jumped from to $107.04 from $102.36 in 2012, a 4.5 percent increase. ADR represents the average rate paid for rooms sold.
• Hoteliers sold 20 million stays in 2013.
• More than 11.6 million passengers arrived at or departed from Louisiana airports.