Louisiana Office of Tourism Receives Worldwide Recognition For Pandemic Response
LONDON (press release) – Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser announced British travel magazine Wanderlust named the Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT) among the world’s best campaign responses to the pandemic at 2021 Wanderlust Travel Awards ceremony Tuesday evening inside London’s Kensington Palace. Voted by a panel of travel industry insiders, LOT’s bronze award for the “Louisiana Sunshine Plan” campaign placed only behind the Nepal Tourist Board (first place) and the Saudi Tourism Authority (second place). Wanderlust is the UK’s leading travel magazine for independent-minded and adventurous travelers.
New Orleans was also a winner, finishing in the Top Ten by Wanderlust readers as Most Desirable City (Long Haul). Louisiana was further honored with a bronze award for Most Desirable Region for Long Haul UK travelers for the Deep South partnership between Louisiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.
“This is a great acknowledgment of the hard work and foresight our team put into crafting the Louisiana Sunshine Plan which serves our road map to recovery. When tourism stops, everyone hurts. And that is exactly what happened during the pandemic,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Louisiana’s leadership and tourism partners worked tirelessly to deliver eight consecutive years of record-breaking growth. COVID-19 crippled our industry in 2020. It will take all of us pulling together once again – with additional support and resources shoring up our efforts – to restore Louisiana tourism to those heights. And that’s exactly what we will do.”
Assistant Secretary of Tourism Doug Bourgeois, who accepted the award in London, said, “It is a great honor to be recognized for our continuing work to keep Louisiana top of mind to our international travelers. Especially in the UK market that is the second leading market to bring international visitors to our state.”
Goals of the Louisiana Sunshine Plan include:
- Restore the trajectory of tourism growth in Louisiana to pre-COIVID-19 levels.
- Increase the rate of successful restarts of events and cultural/entertainment attractions by providing direct assistance and promotion
- Improve visibility into real-time visitation statewide as a tool to monitor recovery and continue innovation once the industry has restored.
In 2019, Louisiana welcomed 53.2 million visitors who spent $18.9 billion, generating $1.17 billion in sales tax revenue and representing a 43-to-1 return on investment for the state funds received to promote Louisiana travel.