Nungesser promotes tourism in state

Working to highlight Mardi Gras celebrations other than just N.O.

One of the best ways to promote tourism in Louisiana is for residents to vacation somewhere in the state and tell others about it, Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said Thursday.

During this year’s Police Jury Association of Louisiana Convention, Nungesser spoke of the ways his office is promoting tourism statewide, including the “Staycation.” Signing up online for the Only Louisiana Ambassador Program (onlylouisiana.com) and sharing stories and videos can also attract visitors at different locations. He said more people went to Gothic Jail in DeRidder after a visitor posted photos online.

Nungesser said his office is working to promote Mardi Gras celebrations statewide, instead of focusing exclusively on the festivities in New Orleans. He said this offers visitors a cheaper alternative to enjoy the parades and revelry.

The rebranded “Louisiana: Feed Your Soul” campaign has seen its share of success, Nungesser said. George Zimmerman, chairman of the travel research company Longwoods International, was brought in to come up with a new slogan. Zimmerman helped boost tourism in Michigan with the campaign, “Pure Michigan.”

Nungesser said his office will continue to fund programs that bring in federal funding to preserve historic sites. He said the Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program is “survival for many cities,” including the Hotel Bentley in Alexandria.

“It wouldn’t be open today if not for that program,” Nungesser said. “We just can’t walk away from federal matching dollars.”

Once they are elected, incoming freshmen legislators need to understand the importance of tax credits to help tourism, Nungesser said.

Nungesser said Louisiana has partnered with Mississippi to promote trails and byways. He said Louisiana has added spots on the existing blues trail where influential blues musicians lived.””

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser addresses members of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana Convention Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019. Nungesser spoke of the ways his office is promoting tourism statewide. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)

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