Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne says tourism is encouraging for 2014 following last year's record setting year. Over 27 million people visited Louisiana in 2013, a nearly 4-percent increase from 2012.
Dardenne says international travel to Louisiana was up 18-percent last year, which is the largest percentage increase in the country.
"We're certainly accomplishing our task of getting international visitors to come see us in Louisiana. They spend more money, they stay longer, they're much more curious about all areas of the state."
Domestic and international visitors spent nearly 11-billion dollars in the state last year. Dardenne says there are no hard numbers available for 2014, as of yet. But he says the LouisianaTravel-dot-com website and their social media activity has been ranked number four among all tourism sites in the US.
"Which is certainly one of the goals I had when I took this office. That is great news. Our usage, our number of hits, and our degree of social media, Facebook and Twitter and what have you, ranks us fourth tops in the nation."
The top three leisure travel activities for Louisiana domestic travelers are visiting friends and relatives, shopping, and fine dining. Dardenne says his office will continue to work on enticing people to come visit the Bayou State. He says an upcoming article in the next issue of National Geographic Traveler magazine will help.
"They call Louisiana the Weirdest Country in America. It's a flattering story, though, talking about all of the unique things one can find in Louisiana."