Natchitoches rallies in support of travel and tourism industry

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Natchitoches Convention and Visitor’s Bureau led Natchitoches’ travel and tourism community during Travel Rally Day May 9 at the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest History Museum in support of government policies that are friendly to travel. 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.This week, we are 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,” said Arlene Gould, Executive Director for Natchitoches CVB. 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.

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* 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 $75.6 billion in federal, state and local tax revenues in 2017.

“I am fortunate to have worked in the travel industry in for over 30 years. I have come full circle having worked in the restaurant industry as a manager trainee while in college here at Northwestern, in the hotel industry as a human resources professional and also worked at Melrose Plantation, one of the most historic attractions in the parish before becoming a part of the Natchitoches CVB,” Gould said. “I know tourism has helped Natchtoches immensely for many years, because of the tax revenue it generates, not to mention the countless businesses and jobs that are supported by our visitors. That’s why I’m proud to support travel and tourism on Rally Day and every day.” 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 2017, representing an increase of nearly 500,000 over 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 percent over 2016. This revenue represents a 37-1 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. During the Travel and Tourism Rally, 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 and Mariner’s Restaurant for over 30 years of service. Bed and Breakfast establishments were recognized for being instrumental back in the 1980s and 90s to open doors to welcome guests from around the world making Natchitoches the Bed and Breakfast Capitol of Louisiana with 27 current B&Bs in operation.

Those recognized were Jefferson Street Townhouse, Green Gables, Judge Porter House, Starlight Plantation, Samuel Guy House and the most photographed, Steel Magnolia. Also receiving recognition was the Briarwood: Caroline Dormon Nature Preserve after recently being listed on the National Register of Historic Places and Kaffie-Frederick General Merchantile in recognition of being Louisiana’s Oldest General Merchantile, continuously in operation since 1863. In addition to its benefits for the local economy, travel can also have a positive effect on personal well-being for residents and visitors of Natchitoches. Numerous research studies have confirmed the positive health effects of travel and time off, from reducing the risk of heart disease to decreasing depression.

Using time off to travel with family is good for everyone, especially our children. Kids who travel with their families are more likely to attend college and earn more as adults. Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau 780 Front Street Ste 100 Natchitoches, Louisiana 71457 1-800-259-1714 318-352-8072