Lt. Gov. Nungesser says state’s tourism industry lost $2.5 billion, laid off 109k workers due to COVID-19

LT. Gov. Nungesser says Louisiana's tourism industry has lost 109K jobs and $2.5 billion due to COVID-19

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The tourism in Louisiana has taken a large hit from COVID-19.

According to a report by Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser’s office, the impacts from the coronavirus were large. The state lost more than $2.5 billion just from tourism alone, which led to 109,000 jobs lost in the industry.

In Baton Rouge, this problem is compounded by limiting attendance at LSU football games to just 25% of Tiger Stadium’s capacity, according to Nungesser. That means fewer people will be staying in Baton Rouge hotels and spending money in the state’s capital city.

“We feel that until we can fill up the stadium again with events, small or large, we’re doing bike races, all kinds of things to get people to stay in hotels, shop at local businesses and support the economy here,” Nungesser said. “We’re trying to do that in hopes that toward the end of the season we will see Tiger Stadium fill up again.”

The Louisiana Office of Tourism has released a plan to bring tourism dollars back to the state. It takes a multi-tiered approach highlighting the hospitality Louisiana is known for. It also details incentives to businesses and event organizers to hold events in the state next year, such as free seafood and promotion for businesses.

“Some of the experts say three, five, 10 years, that’s unacceptable,” he said. “I won’t be happy if we’re not bouncing back at the end of next year with a calendar full of conventions.”

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