Louisiana attracted a record 51.3 million visitors in 2018, according to the lieutenant governor’s office, up 9% from the previous year.
Visitors spent $18.8 billion, an increase of 7% since 2017. Meanwhile, the travel and tourism industry last year generated $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue.
“We’ve seen a continued growth over the past three years of hotel accommodations, attractions, and tourism jobs all across the Louisiana,” says Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser in a prepared statement. “By promoting Louisiana as a place where you can Feed Your Soul, we can attract more visitors, which means more tax revenue we can generate.”
Some 237,200 jobs were the result of visitor spending in Louisiana last year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s an increase of 2,600 new tourism-related jobs over 2017. Since 2016, a total of 6,700 new tourism-related jobs have been added statewide.
The latest tally comes a year-and-a-half after Nungesser unveiled the state’s branding campaign, Louisiana: Feed Your Soul, in an effort to convey Louisiana’s food, music, history and culture.