While we know the global pandemic is far from over, LTA is encouraged to see positive changes in Louisiana’s health statistics. At both a national and state level, conversations are beginning to shift to slowly and carefully reopening businesses. We applaud our governmental leaders for their caution and continuing efforts to prioritize the health of Louisiana citizens.
Across the travel industry, businesses are both eager to once again begin welcoming guests and determined to do so in the safest way possible. This will look different for each state and possibly for each community, but when that time comes, the industry will be prepared.
Gov. John Bel Edwards has created
Resilient Louisiana, a state commission charged with examining Louisiana’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic and making recommendations for more resilient business-related activities and commerce in the coming months. The 18-member panel includes Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, and will be co-chaired by Louisiana Economic Development Secretary Don Pierson and health care leader Terrie Sterling. It also includes tourism leaders Walt Leger, of New Orleans & Company, and Ti Martin, of Commander’s Palace. The commission will include a task force structure dedicated to strengthening specific sectors of Louisiana’s economy.
We have been asked by the Commission to co-lead the Hospitality & Tourism Task Force alongside Kyle France, chairman of the Louisiana Stadium and Exposition Commission. The team consists of 16
leaders in the industry from all around the state who will be seeking advice from all segments of the travel industry to create best practices for navigating the reopening and return of visitors to our destinations and places of business.
As we begin to focus on reopening the travel economy, there has never been a better time to join together for the annual celebration of
National Travel & Tourism Week
, May 3-8. This year’s theme, the Spirit of Travel, celebrates the industry’s strength, selflessness and resiliency. Utilize
US Travel’s NTTW toolkit
and look for additional resources later this week from LTA, the Office of the Lt. Governor and LOT.
Your LTA staff continues to move forward with plans for this year’s
Lt. Governor’s Travel Summit in August in Lake Charles. We are already working to make adjustments to prioritize personal health, while also focusing on the importance of rallying the industry in these challenging times.
In spite of the current legislative session being put on hold,
advocacy still remains at the forefront of LTA’s efforts. Rep. Rick Edmonds is carrying a bill on our behalf to lift the 10 percent cap on in-state spending for marketing. This will allow the Lt. Governor and LOT to focus on staycation and drive market advertising as restrictions begin to be lifted.
Rep. Stephen Dwight has also resubmitted the hotel definition bill on our behalf. This bill seeks parity in the definition of a hotel and allows for for collection of occupancy tax on short-term rentals.
At a congressional level, LTA has engaged Cornerstone Governmental Consulting to assist the Lt. Governor and our CVBs in securing federal funds for recovery marketing.
While we know the challenges for our industry are significant, we are continuously encouraged by our members’ selfless acts, engagement in recovery efforts and excitement about moving forwards. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to our staff if there is some way LTA can serve you during this time.