River Parishes Tourist Commission posts large gains in visitor spending, jobs in 2018

River Parishes Tourist Commission posts large gains in visitor spending, jobs in 2018

by Buddy Boe

The River Parishes Tourist Commission is proud to announce a $16,710,000 increase in visitor spending and 13% increase in hospitality and tourism related jobs in 2018 over the 2017 figures. The increase amounts to an average local tax savings of $256 per household throughout the region. Comparatively, 2017 saw an increase of $60,000 over 2016 spending.

Throughout 2018, the Commission undertook deliberate efforts to expand the message and offerings of the River Parishes as a complete destination, working with new stakeholders to unearth new experiences for the visitors. Late 2018, the Commission launched the River Reel Video Series highlighting different aspects of River Parish culture and history.

“Over the last year, our transportation company has seen a steady increase in the number of tours and transportation requests from our attractions and hotels throughout the entire River Parishes,” said Dayna James, partner in United Front Transportation Services.

Individually, St. Charles Parish saw a $9,600,000 increase in visitor spending and 16% increase in hospitality related jobs. St. John the Baptist Parish enjoyed a $3,640,000 increase in visitor spending and a 5% increase in hospitality related jobs. St. James Parish, rebounding from a decrease in 2017, posted a $3,710,000 increase in visitor spending and 18% increase in hospitality related jobs.

“We’re very proud of these figures and it points to the strength of our destination, attractions, lodging partners, and unique cuisine in continuing to attract more visitors each year,” said Garrett Monti, Vice-Chairman of the River Parishes Tourist Commission.

When it comes to taxes saved to the local resident, St. Charles Parish households saved an average of $386 in taxes, St. John the Baptist Parish households saved an average of $511 in taxes, while St. James Parish residents saved $332 per household.

“Our region as a destination is strong and will get stronger as we continue to develop strategic partnerships, expand our circle of stakeholders, and develop new experiences to attract visitors from around the world, out here in the River Parishes,” said Buddy Boe, Executive Director of the River Parishes Tourist Commission.

The Commission recently announced a formal partnership with the River Region Chamber of Commerce to continue to expand the reach of the hospitality industry throughout the area. In June, the Commission will kick off a two-month survey of the destination to assess the region’s strengths and weaknesses and make recommendations on future initiatives of the hospitality industry.

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Source: Louisiana Office of Tourism, 2018 Louisiana Parish Spending Report.

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