Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser's "Louisiana Travel Talks" was held live from the DoubleTree by Hilton in Lafayette on Tuesday, September 29. To start off the talk, representatives from Hilton, partnered with Lysol, discussed the implementation of additional cleaning procedures and safety precautions, and they are looking forward to welcoming guests back to South Louisiana.
Lt. Governor Nungesser was also joined by Frank Randol, owner of Randol's Seafood Restaurant in Lafayette, and Ben Berthelot, the president and CEO of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission, to discuss the tourist industry, live music, and how Louisiana culture has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lt. Governor Nungesser emphasized a hope that COVID-19 numbers will continue to lower as Louisiana navigates into Phase Three. He expressed his hope that, in the next couple weeks, talks about bringing back live music to Louisiana can occur, as live music contributes greatly to the atmosphere of the state. He stated that establishments offering live music, such as Randol's, are engrossed in Louisiana history and culture, and he does not want a loss of these businesses.
Frank Randol discussed his desire to get live music back, because without live Cajun and zydeco music, things are not the same.
Nungesser agreed, saying, "The region of Lafayette has so much to offer. Cajun music and dancing are such a part of the attraction here, and we're hopeful to get live music back up and running here and back in New Orleans."
Ben Berthelot of the Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission reiterated the importance of bringing live music back, as Lafayette is the birthplace of zydeco and Cajun music, which Cajun Country takes great pride in. He stated that Lafayette, previously sharing its culture through zydeco music seven nights a week, is looking forward to a sense of normalcy again through the experience of Cajun food, culture, and music--which aid in making the region so special.
Along with discussions of live music, Lt. Governor Nungesser also highlighted river cruises along the Mississippi River that can benefit the tourism industry. By 2022, there is an aim to add additional docks, along with opportunities for visitors to spend the day in various Louisiana cities, which can help towards the growth of Louisiana tourism. Nungesser also emphasized offering those conventions or conferences that book in Louisiana in late 2020 or 2021, a paid first night of seafood and a local band. This is in hopes of attracting and getting tourists excited about visiting Louisiana again, once it is safe to do so.
To receive information on supporting local communities and safe travelling, you can receive Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser's monthly newsletter, by texting "staycation" to 22828.For more information, visit louisianatravel.com, lafayettetravel.com, and laisatrip.louisianatravel.com