The state welcomed 51.3 million visitors, representing a 9 percent increase over 47.1 million visitors reported in 2017. Visitors spent $18.8 billion, an increase of 7 percent over 2017. The travel and tourism industry generated $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue in 2018. Tax revenue generated through travel and tourism spending saves each household in Louisiana $1,082 a year in taxes that would be needed to maintain current services.
“We’ve seen a continued growth over the past three years of hotel accommodations, attractions, and tourism jobs all across the Louisiana. This growth has enabled us to continue successfully increasing our visitation numbers to reach 51.3 million,” said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser. “By promoting Louisiana as a place where you can Feed Your Soul, we can attract more visitors, which means more tax revenue we can generate. Through continuing to prioritize efforts to promote Louisiana and with the ongoing support of our partners across the state, we can continue this success.”
Investing in tourism to promote and market Louisiana leads to thousands of direct and indirect jobs for the state. At the end of 2018, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows 237,200 jobs were the result of visitor spending in Louisiana, an increase of 2,600 new tourism-related jobs over 2017. A total of 6,700 new tourism-related jobs have been added in Louisiana since 2016.
Nungesser unveiled a new branding for the state in January 2018 – Louisiana: Feed Your Soul – to convey to the world that no other state can offer the incredible bounty of food, music, history, and culture that Louisiana can.
In January 2019, Louisiana received a Gold Adrian Award for advertising excellence for the campaign. The state was one of only 18 winners worldwide and three in the United States.