Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser announced that the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism continues to grow tourism numbers as a result of the the new initiatives launched so far this year despite having fewer dollars due to the 10 percent cut in the 2017-2018 budget. Additionally, the department is beginning efforts to maximize its resources through the newly authorized DCRT Foundation.
“After nearly a decade of continually shrinking budgets, DCRT is still growing tourism numbers while having to do more with less,” said Lt. Governor Nungesser. “I am grateful to be helping spearhead these initiatives and the Foundation. Even during hard budget times, I hope that Louisiana will continue to break tourism numbers year after year for the next several years.”
Destination Louisiana, a program that highlights one parish of the state each month, encourages residents and visitors to travel to a part of Louisiana they have never seen before. Areas like the Cajun Coast in St. Mary Parish, Washington Parish and Toledo Bend Lake Country in Sabine Parish are some of the areas coming up in the next few months. You can learn more about Destination Louisiana at LouisianaTravel.com/featured-area.
The Louisiana Bass Trail promotes fishing at state parks in central and north Louisiana. Eight parks and seven lakes are participating, and this is a way to get people away from the coast and to journey inland. Fishermen and women can get a Bassport that they can have stamped throughout the parks they visit in order to earn Bass Trail swag. The Bassport and all the information about the Louisiana Bass Trail can be found at LouisianaTravel.com/BassTrail.
Lastly, as one of the top ten agricultural businesses in the state, Horse Tourism highlights the horse industry in Louisiana in order to attract large scale events while recognizing local horse owners for their work. With events in Mississippi and Texas, the idea behind Horse Tourism is to capture many of those horse enthusiasts passing through Louisiana regularly by hosting large scale events throughout the state along I-10 and I-20. Information regarding Horse Tourism can be found at LouisianaHorseTourism.com.
“The Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism keeps moving forward with new, innovative ways to draw visitors and locals alike to every part of the state,” said Lt. Gov. Nungesser. “With our initiatives like the Louisiana Bass Trail, Horse Tourism and Destination Louisiana, along with the Foundation authorization, we are hopeful to see continued growth in our numbers despite having fewer dollars.”
The Foundation, authorized through legislation by the Louisiana Legislature in the 2017 Regular Session, is slated to provide for other means of generating revenue to sustain self-sufficiency including the potential for a possible hotel or conference center at Fontainebleau State Park on 500 acres. Other options for the Foundation are ziplines, horse stables at parks like Bogue Chitto in Washington Parish and canoe rentals at various parks across the state.
In addition to the Foundation, the Office of State Parks has created multisite positions for vacancies across the state. This system helps keep cost down in order to streamline the process of maintenance and overall staffing while saving the department money that can then be used on maintenance from flood damages and overall repairs.