Louisiana tourism summit to focus on music, marketing
Chris Miller Reporting
Louisiana's cultural economy and how to promote it to visitors is the focus of three days of meetings beginning today at the statewide tourism summit.
Whether it's Jazz Fest this spring or Family Gras coming up in a couple of weeks, Louisiana Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne says the state offers a lot to music lovers.
"We're going to focus on our messaging across the United States and to whatever extent we're able to market internationally about Louisiana music," the lieutenant governor said.
But that "messaging," says Dardenne, is becoming more difficult.
"We're very challenged from a budget standpoint," he said. "Our tourism budget has been slashed. We have had the benefit of some additional one-time money from BP. It's not going to be coming back, and it can't be viewed to supplant what we need on an ongoing basis."
Dardenne says they want to impress upon the state's budget writers how important the tourism industry is to the economy.
"We'll talk about the fact that tourism is an industry and big business for Louisiana," said Dardenne. "That means jobs for Louisianans, and we'll talk about the need to make certain that our tourism budget is recognized and maintained."