Rebuilding Louisiana Tourism
William. Herold Nungesser was, born into a political family, his, father Billy Nungesser the, senior was head of the Louisiana, Republican Party, when he helped Dave Tree become Louisiana, governor in 1980, trade. Became the state's first Republican, governor since, just after the Civil War more, than a century earlier living. Out his life in the toe of Louisiana's, boot Plaquemine, parish Billy. Nungesser jr.. For the most part stayed out of politics he made his money servicing, offshore rigs with portable housing but, when he wrote out Hurricane, Katrina, in 2005. On his Plaquemine farm and then, endured the sluggish, response of FEMA he, decided to jump into government to take action, he, won Parish president and remained there for two terms surviving. Another major hurricane, Gustav, and then, in 2010, the explosion, of the Deepwater Horizon. He. Became a national figure on nightly news reporting, live from the oil slick coastline, from news outlets, around the world to just about anybody who would listen here, he explains to actress Patricia Clarkson does, he have 18 machines he's got 30, that's. What they're talking about today. None. Guests are also travel, to Capitol Hill where he gave key testimony, before Congress about, the spills long-term, environmental and economic, damage to date over 3,000, acres of my parish is destroyed not, 30 miles like the Coast Guard has said 3,000. Miles destroyed. And everything in it in. 2011. He challenged, fellow Republican, state senator and Secretary of State Jay Darden for lieutenant governor Nungesser. Lost. 5347. But, he came back four years later to win the state's second-highest office and has kept it cents as the. Head of state tourism Lieutenant, Governor Billy Nungesser has, presided over record, years in 2018. 50 1.3, million visitors flocked, to Louisiana. Leaving, behind 18, point eight billion dollars, last. Year nearly 4% increase brought, fifty three point two million tourists. And nearly 19 billion more in spending. But, a worldwide shutdown, to stop the corona virus pandemic has, made a repeat, of those numbers impossible. With, a quarter of a million Louisianians, working. In the leisure and hospitality industry. The state's fourth highest, employer, restarting. Will take a huge effort we. Sat down with lieutenant governor Nungesser to ask where, do we go from here when. Can the States citizens, return to state parks and museums and, what. Kind of hope could he give to 250,000. People wanting. Their hospitality, jobs, back. I'm. Leo Honeycutt we're reporting from Baton Rouge right now with the lieutenant governor Billy Nungesser about, how in the world we restart, tourism, in the state and we do it the right way thank you very much for being here today glad, to be with you so where, do we start with this it's we've. Never gone through this before how do we restart, tourism, which is one of the biggest tourism states in the country absolutely, fourth biggest industry in Louisiana, you know. 2018. Was our best year ever nine percent increase over the previous year we. Said they said you'll never increase it 19 19. Another three and a half percent another. Two million people visit, a little Louisiana, and they, left bound over 1.9. Billion in taxes, you and I didn't have to pay that's, over a thousand, dollars a family the, good news is coming.
Off Of four record-breaking, years. We, were pretty much starting, over but, we know people love Louisiana, we've, got what people love from all over the world so, that's a credible. Advantage, over all. The other states in the country we're, gonna jump, out early with staycation. Take, a road trip in Louisiana, Louisiana's, love they help their neighbors it's, time to help our restaurants, our, hotels, bed-and-breakfast. All those special, jobs that's what a lot of people are listening for right now way can I go back to work because so much is dependent, on tourism right absolutely, well under phase one it doesn't allow us to promote tourism but, we are going to open our state parks and museums to get Louisiana's. To get out go. Visit a state park go shop do. It safely so. We can quickly get to Phase two in, Phase two we're. Gonna open our welcome centers we're, going to promote a drive market, which, all the national, polls show people are going to be very. Comfortable, in a, drive market, there to be a little reluctant to get on a plane oh okay, a drive, market being get in your car and drive someplace, absolutely, this summer hopefully. To its you, know D June July we're. Gonna be able to get people to drive to Louisiana, come, visit a state park come, visit some of the smaller events, that we will be hosting when. It's allowed for us to do that through, phase 2 and phase 3 of this, reopen, into Louisiana. Okay now know you've been prohibited, in the past from being able to advertise. Within, the state all of our advertising has to go out of the state to, get out-of-state tours to come into the statement now are we gonna try to relax that to get people Louisianians, to, get to the state bar right the legislators. Understand, it you, know for the last couple years we've promoted staycation. With, that ten percent that we're allowed to spend that, cap in state now. That that's been lifted we, can use whatever funds, we have available to. Both promote every, event in every. Town in city around Louisiana that's, very important, for two reasons one is that, we know we're gonna have to get Louisiana's. To do more in Louisiana. Secondly. All the convention visib euros that, get that tax revenue, off the hotel-motel. Tax they, have no money so, we're gonna have to give out grant money to those local tourism Main streets, historical. Districts, to, make sure they can promote all their events in their area to do, his best job we can at getting, people into those communities, to support, those local businesses, as we, reopen, Louisiana, okay, now as the mechanism for that how is that going to work are they going to be entitled to some cash, payout, from through, the lieutenant governor's office we're gonna be offering some grants, to local tourism. Folks we're, also going to up our game as. We get into where we can have fairs and festivals we're. Gonna make sure that within a drive market, everybody, knows what's going on and. So we're gonna promote all those events no, matter how small to, make sure through social media people know what's going on in every, town and city we're, really gonna have to roll up our sleeves get, creative, come, up with some new ideas and make, sure we're getting an opportunity to bring every person we can to, to, experience Louisiana. Okay now we're headed into summer and summer I'm assuming, aside. From NFL. Football. And sports in the fall and Mardi Gras in the spring but, summer is usually when people travel the most do you think we're gonna have enough lifted, to where that's going to make sense under, Phase two we're. Gonna be ready to offer some special deals in our state parks free, night you booked three nights get a fourth night free we're, also going to be we're already I've been on the phone all day any, events. Around the country that have canceled, one. Event that was canceled they're now gonna have it in February talk, to that group to spawn it if they come to they're looking at Chicago, or Miami. If, they come to Louisiana, we're. Gonna offer a little Louisiana, land yeah we're, gonna give them free Louisiana, seafood prepared. By, local restaurateur caterer we're, gonna get a Louisiana, musician, to perform so. If you book your vet to Louisiana, said anywhere else in the country at. Louisiana. It's gonna pay for the first night and by, offering great Louisiana, seafood I'm, sure more of their participants, will want to come when, they see what we're offering so. I think we, reach an out calling, as many groups that have canceled looking. To reschedule, and trying, to bring them to Louisiana, and by. Doing that hopefully. Later, summer, and into, the end of this year next year we're, gonna see our counter fill up quicker, than any other state because, of Louisiana, Lane yeah yeah you're offering a Louisiana, party well and like like the one of the group said you, know we've already spent some money I had to cancel so.
That Gift, will, help us make our convention, whole, counters, in we're coming to Louisiana, so, we provide whether it's a sporting event a, doctor's, convention, we're talking to some oil and gas conferences. LNG groups. That normally go to Euston or Dallas, come. Book that Louisiana, and we're going to feed you we're, gonna fill a feed your soul with Louisiana seafood you know you just saying that makes me hungry so, I'm, ready to go to that party and I can imagine how that might be a deal maker for you, know when they're making that decision between Chicago, and Miami you know we've got so many great tourism, partners, around this state that really, are working hard on the phones, reaching. Out to those groups and and and you. Know we, went through Katrina. The oil spill the. 2016. Floods that flooded. 57. At 64, parishes if. Any state can come back better. Than ever and quicker. Than anybody else its, Louisiana. We. Just have a way of getting, out rolling up our sleeves and doing the hard work and whether. It's a swamp tour a specialty. Shop. We're. Gonna work very, hard to get those places filled up and their bookings back so, as many can make it through these tough times as possible, and. We'll come back Louisiana, strong. Nobody. Does it like Louisiana. I remember. Down in Plaquemines, Parish after. Katrina the oil spill 1, and if we would ever kind of about come back it's you well. And, and, we've got a great team here in Louisiana make it happen nobody. Works as hard as, passionate. And has, so much love for their state as Louisianans. So, it's easy to get excited about the, challenges, ahead and know, we will be back stronger than ever you know one of the problems with people who live next to Disney World and Disneyland the. Okhla say is is that if you live next to it you never go to it because it's always there in. Louisiana, we, seriously. That everybody knows where all the state parks are you know and I'll tell you since I've been lieutenant governor I'm guilty I can remember family vacations. Going. To some of the state parks but going to Percy Quin and those, in Mississippi, and our, state parks, have the best fishing and you. Know when I took office I was told good. Luck you're gonna have to close seven parks we don't have the funds well that wasn't an option thanks. To the help with all the local sheriff's, that have really leaned forward and helped us clean them up get, the repairs done and making. Some major cuts and really consolidating. The, districts we've, not only been able to keep them all open but, we've done incredible, improvements, all, the state, parks of beaches have brand new whites and last. Year the. Cabins, are in better shape we've. Got new trails we've got horseback, riding to been canoeing things. We never had before new, splash. Pads for, the kids we're. Starting to work on adding, specialty. Playground. Equipment, for special needs children. That, we want to get in every state park so, we're going to keep working hard to make sure there's. New and exciting, things to do in the state parks museums, and, all, over Louisiana ok, the wicked people booked reservations to, go to the state parks, well we've canceled, today, we cancel, any out-of-state, people through. The 15th, but, Louisiana, residents can, go out and book camping. Site or a cabin. Starting. Today through the, 15th, and even. After that but, phase 1 we are opening, up two state parks for. Louisiana, residents and the museum's for, Louisiana, residents and in Phase two we'll welcome visitors, back, to Louisiana now, about how much does it cost for, a family, well, you, know you can get berries, yeah it does vary size, of the cabin, the season, or a hard, buck aren't something I was a night you, can stay at a state park but, we've got a lot of great bed-and-breakfast --is that are really reasonable, all over Louisiana and, a lot of great family owned hotels, so. Wherever you go to staycation. You're. Gonna have an incredible time and meet, incredible people I, went. And when I first started doing staycations. I spoke, to some high school kids and I, said look go home and ask your parents to take you on a staycation a little. Girl in the front row said lieutenant governor where, are you going on your staycation, I didn't, thought about it so I didn't think quick I said too little been in a condition, so, that night I went home and told my wife we're going is a little bit of that she.
Said Why there I said I couldn't think anything else but. We caught a lot of fish that's pretty good yeah. We went in the week for Christmas, we, stayed in Toledo been caught a lot of fish and then, we went to Natchitoches for the Christmas lights and, my mother-in-law spent, four hours going. Through that old hardware, store been in the same family for our years when. She went home and posted on social media, all the neat things she found 20. Of a relative, have, since gone to nakanishi, go to a hardware store okay so my staycation. Shared. It with friends and family. It'll, help spread the word and if, Louisiana's. Get out and take one staycation, here in Louisiana, during, these difficult times, shares. It with their friends and family they. Will help set the pace as. We going to the end of this year next year so, everybody, want to come visit those incredible, things to do and see and eat, here, in Louisiana. I. Know. Just to make sure that I'm clear on this if I book three nights I get a fourth free that's absolutely, right and stay Park and, you can go online now to where you can go to Louisiana. Travel, calm our, state parks website, and and. All of them interconnect, and and. We even got staycation. Where, if you got a three nights you want to go see incredible. Things within a drive distance, we've, got fifteen itineraries, you can book to, see great things in Louisiana, all, over this great state ok now just a person. A single or a couple you. Don't have a family would. You recommend that they go we have museums, we have what could build oh and New Orleans forgot the cadet could build Oh the Sports Hall of Fame Museum, you, got the we, got nine great museums from Shreveport, all the way down to home of Morgan City but, there's another 400, museums, that, aren't in our system, we, are working hard right now to come up with a plan to include, them all in our, website, because a lot of them were given back by the Secretary of State and don't, have the funds to market, so, we're working on a plan right now to have a museum board in New Orleans one. In Baton Rouge one. In Shreveport, that, will help promote and fund. Those museums in their region, people, are more apt to give and support if they're. Supporting, something local, in their backyard it, doesn't, make sense to have a museum board for the whole state, operating. Out of New Orleans so. We're in the process of, gonna bring that back to the legislature, to make sure we're. Supporting those, museums in those regions, by. The people that love, those museums in those regions and hopefully, we're going to get the Secretary of State to, join in and put the old State Capitol we're, going to get the old governor's, mansion in there and those, people that love those places. Will. Be able to help raise money and that money will stay in that region for. Those museums, and, we're gonna been working hard on that study to, get that back to the legislature. Later, this year probably not for this session but. Eventually see us promoting, all those museums all, over the state even, the ones that are run by local government or, independent. Groups they. Need our help promoting, them as well okay I've spent my whole life doing stories about the museum's of state parks and I didn't realize we had 400 museums. I think it's about 400 all over the state if you had them all up and, you got the Bonnie and Clyde Museum yeah, every, time I go to a town I find a new museum you, know we're working on the civil rights trail right, and the civil rights museum they've, been talking about it for nine years, they're now finally, gonna have a home in New Orleans and, so as we put together the Civil Rights Trail and join. Our other southern, states in marketing. That trail. Eventually, the. Civil rights museum will, have a new home in New Orleans that that, team has been working hard on okay, and so is there a collective website, where we can go to and see maybe. Look at these museums and see the ones we would like to go to yeah. Well the. Museum website is. Louisiana. State Museum. Com, I'm not sure that it's our tab on the lieutenant go yes yes, you go to Louisiana. The. Tourism. Website and, find, all the great things it connects. To a mall and and. To book a cabin, or a campsite in the Louisiana, State Parks, it. Connects you to all the sites and we can expect at our cabins, at the state parks that we would rent are in good shape but yes sheriff's. Involved, they came out and helped those really clean them up and they, continued to this day to be our partners, and helping. Us keep them clean we've.
Lost A hundred employees in state parks yet, because we've circled the wagons instead. Of having a plumber. Sit in every state park waiting for something we, were able to put travel, teams together and do. More with less so, we've got groups, that go around and fix everything in the state parks instead. Of having them sit waiting for something to break we've, been able to save hundreds. Of thousands of dollars and get, more things fixed and in better shape than, ever before, we've, run it more like a business and and. We're really we've dialed, down on all the subcontractors. And be able to do a lot of things in house saving. Over, a million dollars but, those are things we had to do to keep them open and we've, got an incredible, team of employees, that truly love what they do in those state parks, and the museum's and being, able to really do. Some incredible, things in. The last four years. When. We took over the. Cabildo presbytery. Hadn't had a new exhibit. The. The Cabildo, had an exhibit twenty, years I kind, of wondered, we had the king and queen of Spain come, down incredible. Exhibit we've, been able to highlight miss, pett Alba who, built those apartments. And the, rents go to keeping the museum's up we, had our family, in and did an exhibit about her incredible. Life, but. We got new things happening, all the time and the, numbers, at the museum's last, year were up 30%. Visitation. One year we're little of no marketing, money just, doing those exhibits. People. Sharing it with their friends and family seeing. Incredible things happening, we. Were on our way this. Year they're doing incredible things and we're still going to do incredible things it's. Gonna be, a fight, to to. Get those tourism, dollars back, you. Know it's not like after Katrina, where everybody wanted to help us right every, state right, is competing. For those, tourists, right, but. I like our chances with the food the culture and the people we. Welcome, strangers, like their family nowhere. Else in the world that people get treated like that, you treat in Louisiana, so, that's something not everybody has is the great people Louisiana to, open their arms and welcome strangers.
Like Their family and you, always leave with a warm and fuzzy feeling and usually. A friend for life well we're known for hospitality here but when you throw in the food of the music I mean come. On who can beat us so we're. Up to the challenge and, and. I know if, if anybody can bring tourism dollars back to, their great state Louisiana, can what. Happens, in, this legislative, session we see such a downturn, in the economy we, see such a, missing. Gross receipts, we, see the oil and gas oil patch is starting to feel. Like in the 1980s. We lived through that, this, means diminished, revenue so, that the it's doubtful, that whatever you asked for, you're, gonna get a hundred percent of this time how is that going to reflect on trying. To get tourism, in and trying to make sure we maintain the state parks well hopefully. We're. Gonna get those tourism, dollars that. Are marked for hotel-motel. Tax that, we've relied on obviously. There's gonna be a big hiccup there right with a few months but, as long as we're able to retain those dollars, that, we've booked thus far. We. Should be okay we, got to have that money to market Louisiana, we're. Not doing anything the capital, money that we planned. On improving, things we, put a hold on everything, knowing our, job is to get those tourists back get, those numbers back up and some, of those projects, we have planned we'll be able to do in the future so we got to make sure we spend our money wisely and, we, get the most bang for our buck and that's, why things like Louise in a land Yap, offer. And all the great things we have to offer here in Louisiana. When. We offer Louisiana, seafood buy a local restaurant a caterer we're, helping the seafood industry, we're, helping that local restaurant when we offer a musician, well, we're, helping our musicians, musicians. Getting, them back some. Funds and, getting them known to another group of people so. Those are the kind of things well we get more bang for our buck and just. Offering people to come back to Louisiana where, we, can offer all those great things we have supporting, all those great industries, in. One basket is, going to help us like. I said get more bang for our buck. I tell. Them I am so, damn, south, even a Mississippi. Scared, around. Oh. Bobby Street, to Baton, Rouge. Whatever. Tone. Always. Come, back to Louisiana. Cuz. BZ and. Is home. Well. And you've been fiscally responsible to, the whole time you've been here trying to make sure that this sort of pays for itself which is going to be which, is tough for almost any department, to do but. From the standpoint of of. Trying, to attract, people with in Louisiana, is there is there any other, plus. To be in Louisiana and gone to a Louisiana State Park besides getting the fourth night free well it's no it's you know we've. Got very low rates in the and we cantle rates already how ready and. And it's it's a juggle, because we want it to be affordable for any, Louisiana, family which we feel it is but. We don't want to undercut, some of the private, RV parks, and business. People that offer bed-and-breakfast. Ah's and and a very affordable too so, it's a juggle, there and and. We fill, up pretty quickly part. Of our problem private. Public initiative, has, been din and to look for local business people that, might want to build 20. VIP. Cabins. Charge, a little more will, split 80/20, they're, gonna fill up too so, we're looking for those kind of partnerships, like we did with the horseback riding, to being canoeing, where, we can offer, a local, Louisiana, business. Entrepreneur. Chance that come in to the state park made. Some money and bring, a new initiative, in the state park for us.
We. Have learned that, we can get a fourth night free which is a good gimme for Louisianians. Is. There. A I, don't know is there it seems like there was a passport. Kind. Of program we had in the past or if you went to all the state parks right you get a thing and I think we still have that you can learn on the website, and. There's all kind of different incentives, we do, from time to time in different areas of the state yeah. Well you go, book. A night at every state park that was rolled out with our staycation, okay, and you, go get. Us signed up at every state park and you, get a free free stay at the state park we, also. In. All of the state parks we, host special events and those those, whether, it's a cookout as soon as we get into Phase two I'll be going, the state hosting. A campfire. Cookout at 1:00. I know, 4th of July we're doing a firework show so. We'll be doing special, events to lure people to. Go to these special events which, you can go and look on the calendar. Louisiana, travel calm and see all the great events so your no fireworks at all the state park not all of them but we'll be doing different events at state parks yeah. There'll be special, events we get, with the local tourism folks and we try to do, things in those regions to lure people there and where we can lend our state parks to do those we. Do on whether it's a cookout. Or a bonfire. Or different. Events we. Do things with the Girl Scouts man. Enough to be a girl, where. We get the girls out and teach them out of fish so, we'll be hosting all those special, events that, we put on whole, when. This thing hit, us we'll. Be rolling those things out in Phase two when. It's safe to get out and travel. In the state parks you know one of the things that we're really gonna have to work hard on. Both. The restaurants, the, attractions. The hotels. Bed-and-breakfast. Is we're. Gonna have to make sure we're. Following the guidelines, with. Our masks or, with, our distance, in with, us cleaning everything many, times a day we're. Gonna have to get that word out it's. As important, for the safety of Louisianans, as it. Is to make the Louisianans. Feel safe that they're, gonna be protected, when they venture out so. That's, part, of our marketing, plan as we. Roll out phase one and Phase two and even, phase three is we're.
Gonna Have to sell that. It's going to be safe to come out and do these things at. The state parks, museums and, that's, why we're implementing, plans to. Make sure we're cleaning things several times a day we're. Putting up plexiglass, when. You go in to get your ticket at the Museum and we're, going to be wiping, down things and asking people to keep, a distance in the museums and state parks so, we're doing it safely both. So. The people coming out feel safe but. Also so. We don't see that curved spy right and we continue, on the path to get to phase 2 in phase 3 and and. Do it safely okay. So you that, would involve then, sanitizing. After each stay at a cabin absolutely. And making, sure everything. Is sterilized, wipe down, everything's. Washed and cleaned. In. Between those stays and we have, professionals. That do that for us now and we, will continue to, put extra care but also letting. The people know that all, right now every, one of the museum's I've gone to and the, state parks that I've gone done stories with you. Always have, docents. There or you have volunteers, and they're, really passionate about about. Louisiana in general but about their area in about that State Park are you, do, you have more volunteers who, are volunteering, to try to man these and try to well, we interface, with the public we, absolutely are but. We've got to be careful because some of those volunteers are. Up, in age and we don't want them to come out unless they feel absolutely. Safe the. People that are more susceptible or, not. Going to be. Interacting. With the public, until. We get further along and feel like. There's. There, it's a lot safer for them so, the older people that normally. May be volunteering. At a state park or museum will, probably, not be doing. That and phase one, because. We want to make sure we're doing everything to protect. Louisiana's. First and foremost, now, what about airlines where, airlines. Are really taking a major hit but New Orleans particularly, as a destination, city, it's going to be a challenge. You. Know I know there's a lot of things being talked about every, other seat on a plane but. We're. Looking at the data every, week that. USA. Travel, puts out and, they, are polling every. Week. That's. Where we get our data that knows people are going to want to stay closer to home, the. RV sales are doing record, numbers and we. Know the first market. People are going to feel comfortable is a, drive, market, so, that's where we're going to put our efforts initially, out, the gate is to. Trade on a so. Many state drive market, keep, watching, that data, and. As we people. Feel more comfortable flying the. Conferences, those, things that'll. Start booking into next year, then. We'll stop market in those areas as well have really lost that many conferences. We've. Lost a lot yeah and we've lost a lot of bookings, at the state parks. And. Because. As, you talk to these groups they're, polling, their of their. Members, where. Do you feel comfortable going. Because. This is it's one thing to host a conference get. Them to come back to Louisiana it's. Another thing to get their. Participants. To feel comfortable coming, and, that's why that's got to be part of our marketing, plan look, if, if, we cleaned. Ourselves up and sanitized ourselves, after Katrina we pretty much have already we got the playbook on that that's exactly, we got to use that to our advantage you, know as we go, into Phase two, and. The well and open the Welcome centers if guests. Pull in there and don't have a mass we're going to provide one for them so.
They Feel safe traveling. About wearing, that mask here in Louisiana, and, and. We're, going to be asking, them when. They venture into the shops in place in Louisiana to. Do it with cars and keep their distance so. So. We're welcoming, guests back in a, safe manner what. Is your overall feeling with regards to making this ramp back up you know we ever. You like you said all the other 49, states have got as many challenges as we do, we've. Overcome, the fact that there was a spike in Orleans and Jefferson Parish, which we believe was the aftermath of Mardi Gras which. Obviously we held and did not know about coronavirus. So. We but we've overcome that and so, the numbers are looking really good right now now how do you reconvince, the. Outside, world look we're doing okay but one of the things we've got going for is is. We've. Been able to market. Family. Friendly, affordable, Mardi, Gras all, over, Louisiana for, the last four years and. Have done it Cecily we've. Seen double-digit. Increases and out-of-town guests, in Shreveport. Morgan. City Houma people. Look at our map and say wow I can't. Afford a hotel room in New Orleans but I can afford Lafayette, or, Lake Charles, or Alexandria. Or Shreveport, Ruston same. Thing with with Christmas, all, the great Christmas, lights and shopping opportunities. All, over Louisiana, we've. Been able to market those downtown, districts. And. All the unique shops they have and things for Christmas so, we've got good experience doing, that the, trails and byways, Doug. Who's the head of tourism. Before. He had that job was. Head of trails and byways his, job was getting people off the beaten path into, those rural areas around Louisiana and all. The indications, are that people, are gonna feel more comfortable, going. In smaller areas, and seeing. Those old historical, districts, and towns that. Plays right into what Louisiana, has to offer so. We want to make sure if we've got a. Museum. Or. Rro. Antique, alley show. That. We're making sure everybody. Wants to to, know about those things we, share that through social media so. All those special, Bookfest. Art Show all, those special, events that. Will be held all over Louisiana. In. Those small towns if we want to be able to mark it and let, people know about them, because, they're gonna feel more comfortable, in smaller groups, traveling. And going through those small towns so. It's a great opportunity for us to, highlight those main streets all over Louisiana. The Lord cometh soon. Okay. So we are skewing, to an older demographic here, we're told my grandparents, they grandkids, some place myself included, so, is. There some place you would recommend right off the bat of something come to mind it's like the best place to go in the state well. Everyone. Likes to take, the grandkids, catch. Fish to. A beach our. State parks, have some incredible, fishing, and and, our guides and our people. That work in the state park our employees they. Love to take and show you where to catch the fish we, got some great hiking trails bike, trails and if, you want to take you your grandkids, horseback. Riding Boger Chetta has, a half day and a whole day horseback. Riding experience second, to none we've.
Actually Filmed, a national, TV show about. Horseback riding, in Louisiana State Parks we. Hope to get those open at more state parks we've, also got canoeing, a to, mean on on the. The river there and some of our state parks just. Some, incredible, things to see and you can take them to the historical, sites that. We've got 17 historical, sites in connection. With all the state parks that. Are great to see some. Of those historical. Sites and really, educational. For our kids but. You can't miss those museums, in every. Town and city, to. Educate, the kids on those museums some. Of I hadn't gone in since I was a kid, but. A lot of great things to see and these, historical, towns and in. Downtown, historical. Districts, and Main streets with. Some incredible, shops and things to see all, over Louisiana well and on the website too you've got a map there you just click on it and you can see where those sites are absolutely. And, and, every kid loves to catch some fish okay now just so I'm clear on this we, can. Go there now. So. You Louisiana, residents can, go to the state park and museums as with. The governor announced today. Absolutely. So, once. We get into Phase two we welcome visitors back, but, for right now they're. Your parks Louisiana, go, out and enjoy them they're your museums, it's your state go. Out and enjoy it it's, a great, the travel Louisiana, and go, to some places you haven't seen we, got the Gothic jail in Doretta. Incredible. Place, some. Really great plantation. Homes, some. Neat bed-and-breakfast. And every. One of those is a great, story, so nowhere, you go in Louisiana, will. You be disappointed with. The things to do places, to eat great. Musicians, playing in the local, places. So. You'll have a great time okay so we are gonna ramp up I know it's only twenty five percent occupancy, for the restaurants, but, we are gonna phase that in we're ramping that up right now so what are you hearing from restaurant, tours well some of them won't open, under. The 20%. 5%. It's, just not worth them bringing their staff and, but. Many will and we're. Asking everyone to go out and support those local restaurants, whether, it's takeout, or you. You eat outside at, a place but. But. But you know some. Of the tough time for the restaurants, anyway so. Without. The support, of Louisianans. Through, this phase one to really get out and support those restaurants many. Of them won't make it so we, really need to venture out and support. Those local restaurants, all over Louisiana. They. Are a big, part of our tourism industry people. Come to Louisiana to eat without. Those local, restaurants. That's, a big part of our puzzle in luring. People to Louisiana. That's. Why we offered the Louisiana, land yeah so. We really, need. Louisiana's. Help to support them help, them make it through this phase one and phase two so. Until we can open the doors to Louisiana, to the world so we should go and get the takeout from our restaurants. And then go to the state parks and eat it I think that's a great idea. You need to put you on the payroll. Well. And. It's not just about state, parks and museums I. Know. That the Louisiana travel. Promotion Association and, tourism. Every. Everybody, is strapped in kind of a frightened. Right now about how long this is going to take to ramp up, is there any crystal, ball you got out there to kind of give us some hope that that's gonna kick off quick you know and I'm, just talking to the swamp tours this morning, where, they're gonna open up for business and every, third seat in the boat and if you're a family and you, feel comfortable sitting, together and they're, going to be taking extra precautions, it's. Very important, that everyone, take. It seriously. And. And use the hand sanitizer wash, your hands, keep, your distance wear the mask. Because. If. We, do it the right way and, phase. One we. Continue, to see a decline. For. Two or three weeks and can roll right into Phase two and, then. If we continue to do the right thing and roll. Into Phase three after. Two or three weeks, that's, where we really start, getting. Those events, back, to. Louisiana, that people will want to come and see. And do and, and. It's up to us Louisiana. If we. Eve the warnings, and do it in a safe manner we'll. Be able to get through phase two and phase three in, two, or three weeks, each and get. Back to business normal. Where, we're hosting, these events with, the great musicians, chefs. And and. All the great things we we, love about Louisiana, no, lord we've lost Jazz, Fest this year we might we.
Might Lose. People. Coming to the stadiums for see, the Saints play LSU. You. Know there's a lot that we have yet to cover here and it is kind of frightening about getting the numbers back out of people are ready to get out of their house and it's, hard to, project. Or predict. What, may be right, you know we know some of the peach, festival talked. To over are. We gonna be able to have a peach fest in October, hopefully. So but. But I encourage, everyone, to let's. Talk, positive. About, what could be let's. Do it safely but. Let's talk about Mardi. Gras next year and and, Mardi Gras all over Louisiana and. Doing, it safely and and, distance, in yourself, you, know many of the Mardi Gras celebrations. All over Louisiana, you. Can spread out on a neutral ground and not be within 10 feet so. Let's. Plan, to do all the things we love about Louisiana, and do, it safely and talk, about how. Things are getting better and now we're going to change the way we go out in public, because. We want to say for better Louisiana. And we, want to welcome tourists, back and we, want to do it safely and if, we keep a positive attitude, and, talk. About all those things we're going to do in a safe manner moving. Forward we'll, get through these phases rather, quickly. And. We can enjoy those great things we love about Louisiana. Sooner. Rather than later, but. We need to stay positive stay. Louisiana. Strong and and. Help our neighbors, and support. All of those great things we love about Louisiana. Yeah I know that you and the governor both have made the point that the worst thing we could possibly do, is to see a spike, because, that, would spook, tourists, coming to the state it, spook everyone, it, made you not want to go back out if you think you can't do it in a safe matter so. It's up to Louisianans. To, make sure we give all those things. The governor asked us to do that. We do it in a safe manner and we. See those numbers, we've, got incredible, people, putting. On the front line in the medical, industry in, the, service industry, out, there risking, their health to. Service, us, let's. Respect them, and do, it safely and we, can all get back to normal, sooner. Rather than later and do it in a safe matter and and. Enjoy all those great things we love about Louisiana. Alright, now let's talk about some of our non polluting industries, that we really ramped up in the last 15, years mainly. The film business what's. What's, on that front we've had to shut down some of the productions I know Hollywood, has shut down but. How can we feather that back in quickly well there again reaching. Out to those industry saying as soon as you feel safely, in getting back in production Louisiana. Is open. For business we, unveiled, the Louisiana, film trail lights camera, Louisiana, people. Want to go where movies was shot and where, people were shot like Bonnie and Clyde right, here in Louisiana, a great, movie that was made to lawman with, Kevin Costner. Right before the shutdown this was rolled. Out shot, here in Louisiana, about, the lawmen that chased down Bonnie and Clyde but. So. We highlight, all those great films. That were shot in Louisiana, and it, makes a difference we, encourage the film industry to come back we're, open our arms we're here to support you safely, and do, what we can to make those. Filming easier and and. And do what we can to support you here in Louisiana, well we have a lot of people here dependent on that industry absolutely. Yeah and you know we. We did a study, it. Looked like the tax. Credits were going to be lost in one, of the special, sessions, so, we I wanted, to know what is the value of the film industry to tourism and it.
Showed That non percent, of everyone. That comes to Louisiana, comes, here heavily, influenced, by a TV show a movie okay that's. A little over a, billion. Dollars economic. Impact that we get from that industry Wow when we showed that study, to the film. In to the legislators. It made, it a little easier to. Accept the tax credits, as a real, value, to, Louisiana tourism, now we encourage, those movie industry, to highlight. The town of city they film in or superimpose. On the side the bridge, you know Baton Rouge so. We want. People to want to go to that to the city of town and we're, also going to encourage the film industry to leave a behind our artifact, so, one day we can have a, museum. With, all the order facts about the great films, that we feelings of sets and things really, Wow Steel Magnolias we just, celebrated, 25 years in a cadet, peoples. Put that city, on the map hundred. Years ago the first movie, to gross a million dollars Tarzan. Filmed in Morgan City so. We like to highlight all those great films, that, have been going on for many years and and. We want to make sure the film industry knows the. Lieutenant, governor's office will do anything, to reach, out and make those. Issues. That may come up doing the filming help. Any way we can expedite, it because time, is money so. We want to welcome those films, those TV, shows back to Louisiana and continue. To support them with the tax credits here, in Louisiana, all right now in the minutes that we've got left there. Are in. Case somebody is just tuning in to I, just, want to reiterate that, for. Louisiana. Residents who go to state parks if you, book three nights you get a fourth free. Absolutely. That's correct alright and they can go now. Go. Now it's in book your your, your campsite, or your cabin, and. We. Want, to want to fill them up with Louisiana residents okay now as far as the museum's go they're. Gonna be open as well all. Of the museum's we will be, distancing people through the museum's but we welcome you to bring your family and come, out enjoy those museums in Louisiana, okay, and from. The standpoint of. Restaurants. I know worth the twenty five percent as we sit here today but. When do you think that may open up I think in phase two hopefully we'll ramp it up to fifty percent or more I don't, want to speak for the governor the, governor's done a good, job at, listening, to the medical professionals, and what, they think is. We. Can do reasonably. And continue. To see that curve, go. He's been very passionate, about working, with them to do the most we can they, get Louisiana, back open, so, I don't want to speak for his team we're. Gonna support those efforts but we believe in Phase two we. Will see it open up a lot, more and in, Phase three hopefully. Get back to normal, for. Our restaurants, and attractions well, I know we can't get back immediately to the 51, or 53, million people, coming. To Louisiana, but can you ballpark, what you might expect for the rest of the year I know that's gonna be tough I have, no idea, until we able, to lure some of these events back and safely. Host them and we, can't do that till we get to phase two and phase three phase. Two we will open our welcome centers, and. Welcome, those visitors, back from surrounding, states and we, will as we know what those phases look, like what. Events, we can host you, know fourth of July we're still hoping that we can have, these great celebrations. Outside with, the firework shows and those, things and and. Lure people back to the state parks for those events but. We want to do it in, a safe manner so. I'm, sure while. We are in phase one will. Be having the discussions, with the governor's teams the, resilience, committee the, governor's done a good job at putting those committees. Together. So, every, every. Group, can, express what's important, of what they need through. These phases and then, in it Swan with the medical professionals, to make sure we do it in a safe manner now. From the standpoint of people that have time on their hands and we've had a lot of over the last two months but. Let's say that somebody is out of a job and they might want to try to help with this effort until. They get a job is, there some Clearing House through lieutenant governor's, office yes somebody can say, I'll volunteer to try to help do this our volunteer, website volunteer, Louisiana. We. Sign up volunteers, every, day, of some. Of those volunteers I, believe are assisting, the governor's. Team and some. Of their efforts for, making. Sure we're tracking, the people that may. May. Be exposed. To the virus, so, we're making sure their quarantine, in place. But. Those volunteers. Have. Helped, out doing. Hurricanes. Doing. The flooding of 2016. And in, normal times we help our seniors and going to neighborhoods, and repair. Homes or, build with wheelchair, ramps, through, AmeriCorps.
But, Our volunteer, judge now our volunteer, team do. Incredible, work all, year, round in Louisiana, we've, got over 10,000. Volunteers signed, up and they, can sign, up on. The website there to. Assist in and help, in many capacities. Around. Louisiana where people need help, well. The summer is here and so, people are gonna people, are already that I know are antsy, to get out of a house for anything, we'll, get out and staycation. You've, got one of the most beautiful, States that belongs to you so. Louisiana's. Need to get out and enjoy. Their. Backyard, their. Steak there's, some credible, things to see all over Louisiana go. See a part of Louisiana you haven't seen I promise. You won't be disappointed and. You, can fish of course you have to have a fishing license, absolutely. You. Can fish canoe, horseback. Ride some. Incredible, trails and bike trails, all, over Louisiana and. Some. Great things to see and do in great places to eat you know I remember the old field trips that we used to take a course I realized and you can't social distance on a bus but we have to assume that this fall, schools. Will be back in session hopefully, we'll have this thing under control and, we'll be back in school we'll. Be back taking, those field trips to, some incredible, state parks and museums all, over Louisiana, okay, and again, the museum's there vary, in price or because. I know there's some museums, that are free yes somewhat more free and some, of them have a smaller mission, and core seniors, get in in military, discounts. For, our parks and museum so, that we honor that throughout, the state now and the, state you will supply, of. Masks. We're. Going to try to supply, in phase, one where not we're, ordering some maths for the state parks, and museums, so, when we're open to visitors, from. Out of town that, we, want them to operate, safely in Louisiana, to protect Louisiana, citizens. As well so. We hope to get those masks into the state parks, and welcome centers when, we roll out phase two we, just order them this week they won't be in by, this Friday but as soon as we're able to provide those for, people that don't have them in a state park or at, the welcome centers we will provide those well. And for people who don't remember your, background. If anybody, can come out and, can is resilient. It's you, coming. Out of Plaquemine, parish and, especially. Through the oil spill, for the Deepwater, Horizon and. Hurricane. Gustav, in fact I was interested to read that at Hurricane Gustav, you. Had to sink several, barges, so that they wouldn't damage in that, hurricane and, I, mean how did you get that past well we just did it under state of emergency we, knew that. Much, of the levees had failed or, not failed, they, will hit by barges, and, and and ripped holes in them and I. Couldn't bear to see that happen, and flood to perish again so, we went out and sunk 19 barges, because. The the owners did move them in. A timely, matter so, they would not damage the levees and and it worked we. Didn't have one barge come through a levee for Gustav, and, and. We went out and did that and, let. He like some hutzpah to do that well and then we helped reflow them and get them back in. Service, as quickly after, as we could but. Our job was to protect the people of the parish but you're, right we've been through Katrina Rita, Gustav, Ike Isaac. The. Oil spill yeah, the, floods of 2016. As I, travel, the state, 57. To 64 parishes, receive. Flooding we. Didn't know if we'd ever recover, and here, we are today, sitting. For. Years of record-breaking tourism. Years right in the last four years and it's. Because of the love and passion the. People in the tourism industry and, the hospitality, industry all. Those workers in the hotels. Restaurants. They, have such love and passion, for welcoming. Tourists that, everybody, leaves Louisiana, with a friend for life and they, want to come back and they tell their friends and family so, that's why we will bounce back quicker than any state I don't, know what those tourism, numbers will look like coming, out of this but. We will lead the country, as. We come out of this because, that's. What Louisiana, does the, love and passion Louisiana's.
Have Frost state is greater. Than any state and we. Do have the best team to get this done. Okay. Now we've talked about residents, about what we can do with the staycation, what, do you advise to the business owners who are dying. To get back just so that they will try to so, they can make it well, to, to to get open and let. Us help you, as. We do in in, the main streets and historical. Districts, and in, your communities, any events. In those communities, we're, gonna put funds behind to make sure we drive as many people, into. Those communities, for those events so, they'll come shop and eat at the restaurants, and as, we promote these staycations. Encouraging. People to get out and support those local restaurants, we're. There to support you our. Tourism folks, are going to be out in. Phase two I'll be traveling, the state staying. At those bed-and-breakfast. Hotels. Promoting. Every, town and city in this state that. Everything that we can do to get get people out there to support them we're. There to help you and support, your business and industry okay now if somebody's watching this and they have a business they're trying to get back online trying. To survive do, they contact you directly well if they contact, that tourism office if they've got ideas or thoughts that we can do to help them we're. Working through the local tourism office, so, we recommend they reach out to their local tourism, office and they, are contacting. Us and we're working with all the regions, to, promote all the things in those regions their, tourism folks on the phone with us daily coming, up with ideas and thoughts that, we can do to, promote and drive, people into their region so. Everybody who's been off right, now can. Expect to come back on, as, quickly. As we can grant make your reservations, now and get, out and support those local restaurants, and. In all those shops, because. We need them to make it through these tough times so we've got something to welcome tourists, from all over the world, when, Louisiana, is open, to. Welcome, tourists back we, want to make sure restaurants, those shops those. Businesses, survive go take a swamp tour, right. Incredible, if you haven't been out on a swamp, tour it's, it's, worth you, catch your own alligator a swamp tour you can pet. One, yeah. You might become lunch. Violets. So. I, guess we really should look, forward to going. To the restaurants, get the takeout go to the state parks neat absolutely. That's a great so, a great day to spend, and get. Out and stay at a bed-and-breakfast. Or a local hotel or, a state park right and go visit those communities, take.
A Staycation, right, here in your backyard take. A Louisiana, road trip and see. That state that you've lived in your whole life and I'm. Sure there's parts you haven't been to right are you willing join okay lieutenant governor Billy Nungesser thank, you very much for this day they made it and thank you for watching I'm Leo Honeycutt, and hey. Go. See Louisiana. George. Always. Come, back to the weazy. Easy and. Uh is. Home.