Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nunguesser visited Lake Charles this week and talked about how he plans on revitalizing tourism in SWLA and across the state.

Nunguesser spoke at the Louisiana Travel Association CEO Forum at The Golden Nugget on Tuesday and said Louisiana has a long way to go to get back to pre-COVID tourism numbers. In 2019, over 53 million people visited Louisiana, resulting in over $19.1 billion being pumped into the local and state economy.

The Lt. Governor has teamed up with the Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism to create the Sunshine Plan. It's a grant program to support the recovery of the travel and tourism industries in Louisiana. It works in multiple phases based on traveler confidence that they can travel safely. The plan will make it easier for Louisiana businesses to get grants and help cut through the red tape involved in the process.

According to Nunguesser, the hardest hit businesses of the tourism industry have been the hotels, attractions, restaurants, and all the things people come to Louisiana to enjoy.

He said since the pandemic started, Louisiana has lost more than $4.9 billion in tourism dollars. He also mentioned his Louisiana Lagniappe Plan that provides free crawfish and live music to anyone who will bring their event to Louisiana.

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