Natchitoches Rallies in Support of Travel and Tourism Industry

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The Natchitoches Convention and Visitor’s Bureau led Natchitoches’ travel and tourism community during Travel Rally Day May 9 in support of government policies that are friendly to travel at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest History Museum.

The event was part of the 35th annual National Travel and Tourism Week (May 6-12), which unites communities across the country to celebrate what travel means to America, the state of Louisiana and to Natchitoches. Jobs, economic growth and personal well-being are just a few.

“Just look at the numbers. Travel supports one in nine American jobs, said Arlene Gould, Executive Director for Natchitoches CVB. “This week, we’re celebrating what travel means to our community—and recognizing local industry partners who have been here for decades and in one case over 150 years- serving our visitors. We’re calling on everyone—from elected officials to local residents—to join us in saluting this important industry, and to support travel-friendly legislation that our local, state and national economies.”

The theme of this year’s NTTW, “Travel Then and Now,” highlights the travel industry’s history of economic impact in every corner of America, and its welcoming travelers from near and far. Across Louisiana, travel employs a prosperous and diverse workforce, from airline and hotel employees to restaurant, attraction and retail workers, and supports related sectors such as construction, manufacturing and finance.

Travel is a $2.4 trillion industry in the U.S.

These visitors support 15.6 million American jobs—roughly 8.8 million direct travel jobs, and 6.8 million indirect and induced jobs.

Travel-related spending generated $75.6billion in federal, state and local tax revenues in 2017.

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser announced 2017 as the sixth consecutive year of record breaking tourism numbers in Louisiana. The state welcomed a record 47.1 million visitors in 2017representing an increase of nearly 500,000 over the 46.7 million in 2016. Those visitors spent $17.5 billion, or an average of $371 per person. The Travel and Tourism industry generated $1.8 billion in state and local sales tax revenue, an increase of 4.5% over the $1.7 billion in state and local sales tax revenue generated in 2016. This revenue represents a 37- to-1 return on investment of state funding. Tax revenue generated through travel and tourism spending saves each household in Louisiana $1,047 a year in taxes that would be needed to maintain current services.

Rebecca Blakenbaker spoke on behalf of the Cane River National Heritage Area. “Those of us who work in the travel industry know that tourism is a large component of our local economy and the projects and products we create contribute to an overall improved quality of life for our residents,” she said.

City of Natchitoches Mayor Lee Posey and Parish President Rick Nowlin presented proclamations to recognize National Travel and Tourism Week in Natchitoches and several local businesses and attractions received Certificates of Recognition including:

Lasyone’s Meat Pie Kitchen for 50 years of business
Grayson’s BBQ for over 50 years of business
Mariner’s Restaurant for over 30 years of service

Bed and Breakfast establishments were recognition for being instrumental back in the 1980’s and 1990’s to open doors to welcome guests from around the world making Natchitoches the Bed and Breakfast Capitol of Louisiana with 27 current B&B’s in operation. Those recognized were:

Jefferson Street Townhouse
Green Gables
Judge Porter House
Starlight Plantation
Samuel Guy House
Steel Magnolia House

Also receiving recognition were:

Briarwood: Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve
Kaffie-Frederick General Mercantile