Lt. Governor honored with inaugural NSU "distinguished hospitalitarian award"
Northwestern State University honored Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser with their inaugural “Distinguished Hospitalitarian Award” in the Family and Consumer Sciences Building Friday morning.
Presented by the NSU Hospitality Management and Tourism Program, the award recognizes Lt. Governor Nungesser’s many accomplishments statewide and strong dedication and support to the degree program which offers concentrations of study in Travel, Tourism, Hospitality Services and Culinary Arts.
Northwestern State University is commemorating the 25th year of the Hospitality Management and Tourism program.
“The Hospitality and Tourism industry is the 4th largest employer in Louisiana. The number of visitors to our state is growing, and much of that can be attributed to the work of Hospitality Management programs at our universities,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “One of the most resonating themes I’ve heard from people who have visited Louisiana is about the way they were treated, that they didn’t feel like strangers but family. Nowhere else in the world does that happen but in Louisiana.”
Since taking office in January of 2016, Lt. Governor Nungesser has been a frequent visitor and champion for the NSU program. He has led efforts to exceed the state’s prior tourism goals with record-breaking success, including visitation growth of more than 9% in 2018.
Last year, 51.3 million visitors traveled to Louisiana to feed their souls with our state’s unique and rich culture, dining experiences, variety of music, and retail shopping. Visitors spent $18.8 billion in 2018, creating local and state tax revenue of $1.9 billion. And, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 237,200 people were employed in tourism-related jobs at the end of 2018. Additionally, this year Louisiana surpassed 100,000 available hotel rooms across the state, representing an increase of approximately 4,000 rooms since 2016.