Louisiana’s overnight travel growth more than double the national increase -- 010/27/2004
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Overnight stays in state up 8.7 percent in first half of 2004
Baton Rouge, LA – The number of people taking overnight trips in Louisiana is growing at more than double the national growth in overnight stays, Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu announced this week.
During the first half of 2004, overnight travel increased in Louisiana by 8.7 percent compared to the same period last year. Nationally, overnight travel increased by 3.2 percent from January through June, according to Landrieu, citing new statistics released by the Louisiana Office of Tourism.
The Office of Tourism falls within the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, which is overseen by Landrieu’s office.
“We are pleased with the solid growth in overnight travelers because overnight travelers buy more than hotel rooms,” Landrieu said. “They also buy meals at restaurants, and are more likely to spend more money with our retailers, meaning benefits for more segments of the travel industry and Louisiana’s economy.”
“As outlined in the Roadmap for Change, we are working to aggressively market and promote Louisiana in new tourism directions, like eco-tourism and cultural and heritage tourism, and by recruiting new markets of tourists. We hope to continue growth in the industry,” Landrieu said.
The statistics indicate 8.21 million travelers stayed overnight in Louisiana, an increase of approximately 654,000 from the first half of 2003. Nationally, overnight travelers grew from 509.4 million in the first half of 2003 to 525.7 million the first half of this year, according to Angèle Davis, Secretary of the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.
“Louisiana also saw a 6.9 percent overall increase in air travel at Louisiana airports and a 5.2 percent increase in hotel and motel rooms purchased by visitors from January to August of 2004, compared to the same period in 2003,” Davis said.
“Our growth rate during the first half of 2004 puts us in the top five in growth among Southern states,” Davis said.
Sources supplying the statistics to the Office of Tourism include Louisiana airports, the Air Transport Association, Smith Travel Research - which surveys hotels and motels - and the Travel Industry Association of America.