State expected to shatter records

Nungesser: Bayou State likely to exceed 50 million visitors

Lake Charles celebrated National Travel and Tourism Week with the Partners in Tourism Awards Luncheon Tuesday. Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, guest speaker, said the state is expected to exceed last year’s record-breaking year by surpassing 50 million visitors in 2019.

“We’re seeing great expansion all over the state,” Nungesser said, noting new ball fields in north Louisiana and 100,000 hotel rooms purchased across the state.

As part of the state’s newest tourism marketing initiative, Nungesser recommended that residents embrace the idea of “stay-cation” when considering their next trip.

“Go see a part of Louisiana you haven’t seen,” he said. “I promise you won’t be disappointed.”

Tourism entities employ more than 10,000 local residents and generates more than $750 million of economic impact in Southwest Louisiana. Nungesser said social media is playing a big role in growth of visitors to the state. From ghosts in DeRidder to historic hardware shops in Nachitoches, Nungesser said, digital platforms allow for additional marketing and promotion for a fraction of the cost.

Tuesday’s luncheon was also a tribute to Shelly Johnson’s lifetime achievement and retirement from the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Tourism Bureau. The 31-year executive director of the CVB was awarded the Tourism Lifetime Service Award and will be inducted into the International Tourism Hall of Fame in July.

Nungesser said Johnson has been an “incredible bridge builder” for tourism between private businesses and other tourism groups across the state.

Other award winners include: Social Media Photo of the Year, Tammilee Tillison; Young Professional Award, Krickett Racca; Media Partner in Tourism, Olivia Vidal; Sports Person of the Year, Jean Evans; Public Service Award, Lake Charles Police Department; Volunteer of the Year Awards, Donnie Martin and Colvin LeDoux; Hospitality Arts Tourism, Sean Ardoin; Lasting Impression Award, Matt Young and Erica McCreedy; Rhea Barnes Travel Industry Award, Denise Fasske; Chairman’s Cup Award, Nora Popillion; Organization of the Year, Calcasieu Parish Police Jury; and Tourism Leadership Award, Mayor Nic Hunter.

””

The Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau. (Special to the American Press)

Local News

Pair has passion for civic engagement

Local News

Nonprofit director to retire: Hickman has worked for BArc for 39 years

Local News

Christian Youth Theater opens season with ‘Adam’s Family’

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:Let health experts call shots

high-school Football

Jennings High comes to aid of former foe

Local News

Victims of Ida get glimpse of journey ahead

Local News

Support workers not pleased with supplemental pay plan in Jeff Davis

Local News

Only a fraction of funding reimbursed to Cameron by FEMA

Local News

15 child deaths attributed to COVID in La.

Local News

School Board extends COVID-related sick leave policy

Local News

Kind Vibes Only: CPSO hosts one-mile anti-bullying walk

Local News

Sowela rolls out fifth annual Flying Tigers Car Show

Local News

Parents urge Jeff Davis School Board to oppose any vaccine mandate

Local News

City hiring two agencies to help with disaster recovery financial advocacy

Crime

Man arrested in Monday shooting near McNeese campus

Jim Beam

Jim Beam column:State’s election system secure

Local News

Transfer of Mallard Cove Golf Course to Chennault complete

Local News

Maplewood schools will remain closed Thursday

Local News

Kinder Future Farmers of America collect, deliver fuel to Lafourche Parish

Local Business News

Disaster assistance request for SW La. makes it to budget

Local Business News

Area LyondellBasell plant receives ISCC PLUS certification

Local Business News

When it comes to headwear, Anne Monlezun and Kevin Mattingly have got you covered

Local Business News

Elizabeth Jimney column: Building a website that works for you

Local Business News

Names in the News: People shaping the future of Lake Area business