Tourism saving money for local households

Tourists visiting Terrebonne Parish saved each household in the parish $535.38 in state and local taxes, according to the latest research gathered from the 2017 fiscal year.

That year, according to the data collected, visitors spent over $166.2 million in the Parish, which generated $5,960,000 in local and $15,550,000 in state taxes.

This success is in large part due to the staff members of the Houma Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, located at 114 Tourist Drive in Gray. Through their promotional efforts, they were able to bring in visitors from 40 states and 20 foreign countries in 2018.

Some other accolades achieved by the Visitors Bureau include being awarded the Louisiana Travel Association CVB of the Year 2018; named a certified retirement community; and having Bayou Country Mardi Gras named a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society and two of their staff members named into the 2019 Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy.

Terrebonne Parish’s economy is undoubtedly attached to the local oil and gas industry, but the tourism and hospitality industry affects the area in a substantial way in its own right —employing over 2,340 people and generating such large tax revenue.

On a statewide level, the numbers are impressive as well.

Louisiana brought in record 51.3 million tourists in 2018, a 9 percent increase from the previous 47.1 million visitors in 2017, according to a press release from the Office of Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.

“We’ve seen a continued growth over the past three years of hotel accommodations, attractions and tourism jobs all across the Louisiana. This growth has enabled us to continue successfully increasing our visitation numbers to reach 51.3 million,” reads a statement by Lt. Governor Nungesser in the press release. “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. Through continuing to prioritize efforts to promote Louisiana and with the ongoing support of our partners across the state, we can continue this success.”

According to their data, visitors spent $18.8 billion, an increase of 7 percent from 2017. This saved each household $1,082 for a year in taxes.

At the end of 2018, as shown by data collected by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 236,200 jobs were the result of visitor spending by the added 2,600 new tourism-related jobs in 2018.

“As we continue to grow our visitation to Louisiana, we want to also encourage Louisianians to plan their staycation so they can experience some of the amazing attractions, activities and hotels that their state has to offer,” the Lt. Governor said. “By sharing these experiences, they will also be ambassadors for the state and a part of our success.” •

Mardi Gras downtownFILE