Local tourism now uphill battle

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 10, 2005


Staff Reporter

LAPLACE — The River Region Tourist Commission is working diligently on keeping tourism alive in the River Region.

Executive Director Jesse Woltz said structurally the River Region was not hurt, but economically is a problem, because there are no tourists.

“Most of our tourism came from New Orleans,” she said. “They are our lifeblood for tourists, whether it be from the Grey Line tours, corporate travelers or individual travelers.”

Woltz said right now the hotels are booked to capacity and there is nowhere for the tourists to stay, if they wanted to.

“We are working on ways to get people back to the area,” she said. “We are working towards special events for early spring. It is important not to invite people back into the area until we are ready for them.”

The Tourist Commission is working closely with the Baton Rouge Convention and Visitors Bureau to help the outer regions of Baton Rouge to promote tourism, and they “have been really supportive,” according to Woltz.

Woltz said during this slow period, patience is key. “This is a slow process,” she said. “Every day we learn something new that could help move us forward or set us back. Senator Landrieu promotes being a tourist in your own backyard, and now is the time to do just that.”

During the down time and between planning for special events, Woltz said they are focusing on product development and being more aggressive on getting the Tourist Commission’s website where it should be, in order to have a stronger foundation.

For more information on the Tourist Commission call 985-359-2562 or visit www.takemetotheriver.com.