New Orleans has some pretty famous streets—Bourbon, St. Charles, and Canal come to mind. In fact, in “A Confederacy of Dunces,” John Kennedy Toole wrote, “St. Charles Avenue must be the loveliest place in the world.” And we all know about the fun and frivolity of Bourbon Street. These road’s fame and appeal attract thousands of tourists every year. But have you ever thought about the impact of roads in general on Louisiana’s tourism? Bad roads are not only bad for business—they’re bad for tourism as well.
The Importance Of Tourism In Louisiana
Tourism is one of our state’s most significant economic generators. People love Louisiana for its food, music, culture, and outdoors—many of the reasons we love living here! Every year, the Louisiana Office of Tourism and the Louisiana Travel Association releases data on visitation and visitor spending. The Baton Rouge Business Report recently reported the 2018 numbers. More than 51 million visitors generated $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue last year. And remember—many of those visitors travel here on our roads. Additionally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 237,200 Louisiana jobs are dependent on tourists visiting the Bayou State. That makes the tourism industry the 4th highest employer!
The Importance Of Good Roads And Tourism
As an important economic driver, tourism needs what all drivers need—ROADS. Many of Louisiana’s visitors are driving in from neighboring states. If the roads or bridges are unable to support this traffic, they simply can’t come in to see us. Imagine visitors not being able to attend Mardi Gras, LSU football games, or any of our hundreds of festivals. Our eateries, hotels, and gas stations would be missing out on so much lost revenue!
More than a means of transportation, the roads themselves can be a destination—even outside the Crescent City. Louisiana Byways attract visitors from all over the world. Tourists drive these scenic and historic roads to see the REAL Louisiana. (There’s only so much you can see from the interstate.) Byways are also the roads leading to local restaurants, shops, and attractions. All of these are critical businesses to the local economy, the state economy, and the tourism industry in general. What would happen if these roads got worse? We’d lose a vital part of our state’s culture and economy.
#FixLARoads For Louisiana Residents AND Our Visitors
George Gershwin once said, “Life is a lot like jazz… it’s best when you improvise.” Of course, jazz is another big part of our state’s culture and tourism. However, we need to stop improvising when it comes to Louisiana’s roads and bridges! It’s time to fix our roads and bridges—for Louisiana residents and visitors alike.
Are you ready to see our state fix our roads? Use this easy form on our website to tell your lawmakers you demand action to fix our roads and bridges. Join the conversation on social media too! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter and use the hashtag #FixLARoads. NOW is the time to demand a special session the get the much-needed repairs to our roads and bridges.