Legislative Priorities

  1. Preserve funding for statewide tourism marketing
    Visitors go where advertising takes them and a comprehensive, statewide tourism marketing campaign will keep Louisiana competitive year after year. Across the United States, it has been proven that the economy suffers when tourism funding is drastically cut or eliminated. Our revenue-producing, job-creating industry can ensure success for Louisiana – but not without investment.

    Fully funding the budget of the Louisiana Office of Tourism, limiting the amount of interagency transfers in DCRT and protecting Visitor Enterprise Funds for each Louisiana community will ensure economic success for our state.

 

  1. Protect occupancy tax dollars
    Travel impacts every community across Louisiana, no matter the size. On a local level, convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs) are working hard daily to drive visitation to their communities. These destination marketers and managers create a sense of place and pride for residents and champion small businesses. Their efforts to attract both business and leisure travelers keep our hotels, restaurants, attractions and small retailers in business. In other words, they help keep Louisianans employed!

    Destination marketing, however, is not possible without occupancy tax dollars returning to the local community and being reinvested in tourism marketing. These tax dollars are paid by the visitor – not the local residents. Funding your local CVB allows them to attract visitors, who spend money at local businesses. Tax revenue from visitor spending allows your community to build roads, fund education and more. Occupancy tax dollars should be reinvested in local tourism marketing through the CVBs in order to increase visitor spending in Louisiana communities.

 

  1. Maintain a level playing field throughout tourism industry
    The travel marketplace is changing rapidly with new technology, and our laws need to keep pace. The shared economy has created new categories of transportation, accommodations and retail. This creates exciting opportunities for tourism marketing, exposing a larger audience of potential visitors to all that Louisiana has to offer. However, this can also create unfair competition in the marketplace and put consumers at risk.

    While we welcome the new additions to the travel landscape, we want to maintain a level playing field. Each new category must be regulated fairly and held to the same taxation standards as traditional businesses. As new businesses benefit from tourism marketing, they must pay their fair share in taxes. New business categories must also be expected to comply with safety standards that protect our visitors. A level playing field across all categories in the travel and tourism industry will ensure the safety of visitors and success of all businesses in the marketplace.

 

  1. Enrich the culture and history of the state
    In Louisiana, there is no shortage of stories to be told. Visitors can go anywhere, but they choose Louisiana because of our rich culture and the opportunities to immerse themselves in it. Our authentic culinary, music and outdoor experiences drive visitation to every corner of the state and stimulate the economy in both big cities and small towns.

    The state’s more than 400 annual festivals celebrate the history, art, food, libations and music of Louisiana, while simultaneously passing on an appreciation for our culture to the next generation and the uninitiated. Promoting scenic byways encourages visitors to spend time in multiple communities and take advantage of local businesses. Main street programs revitalize older and historic commercial districts to offer the visitor an authentic experience. Some of our state’s greatest tourism resources are its public lands, often in rural regions that may be otherwise overlooked by visitors. Both state and local destination marketing organizations are champions of public lands, shining a spotlight and invigorating economies of underserved rural communities as gateways to these treasures.

    We support funding for public lands, scenic byways, main street programs, festivals and other efforts to preserve Louisiana’s heritage. The enrichment of Louisiana’s history and culture is imperative to the success of tourism and can stimulate the state’s economy.

 

  1. Invest in transportation and infrastructure
    Our visitors need efficient access to Louisiana’s destinations in order to keep us competitive. Investments in Louisiana’s transportation system allow visitors to reach our attractions, accommodations and retail outlets with ease. Increased congestion on our highways, railways, airports and seaports reduces our economic productivity.

    We support initiatives that allow travelers to better navigate communities and investments in important transportation corridors.