Impact of Tourism in Southwest Louisiana

During National Travel and Tourism Week, May 1-7, 2022, Visit Lake Charles celebrates the power of travel, both in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) and the 2022 national theme of the Future of Travel as it relates to Southwest Louisiana. The 2022 NTTW theme aims to restore the workforce, help communities recover, foster sustainability, usher in new innovations, and reconnect travelers in the U.S. and around the globe.

#FutureOfTravel is Facilitating Recovery 

Visit Lake Charles facilitates recovery in Southwest Louisiana through grant programs, meeting incentives, strategic marketing tactics, and sports tournament planning initiatives. View the 2022 Business Plan for insights on our goals and strategies for the year ahead. 

2021 Annual Report 

The Visit Lake Charles team is hard at work promoting Southwest Louisiana and all the local tourism-related businesses, cultural events, and stories of people who make our community so incredible to live and visit. View the report below for a look at our goals, strategies, and accomplishments achieved in 2021 to bring back business and leisure travel to Louisiana's Playground. 

2020 by the Numbers

  • Calcasieu Parish was the 5th largest Parish in Louisiana by visitor expenditures of $617 million within the Parish
  • Direct State and Local taxes collected by visitor spend in Calcasieu Parish were $52 million
  • 5,930+ Southwest Louisiana community members were employed by Hospitality and Tourism related jobs 

2019 by the Numbers

  • Calcasieu Parish was the 5th largest Parish in Louisiana by visitor expenditures of $617 million within the Parish
  • Direct State and Local taxes collected by visitor spend in Calcasieu Parish were $77 million
  • 8,020+ Southwest Louisiana community members were employed by Hospitality and Tourism related jobs 

*Data provided by UNO Travel Research Center

#FutureOfTravel is Innovation 

The future of travel looks different everywhere, but it is significant to the story of Calcasieu Parish after surviving back-to-back disasters. Southwest Louisiana has many exciting and innovative projects and events on our horizon, including the much-anticipated lakefront development of Crying Eagle, Port Wonder and the Horseshoe Casino. 

#FutureOfTravel is Increasing Global Competitiveness

As restrictions and testing requirements surrounding international travel begin to relax, we expect to see an increase in international inbound travel. Visit Lake Charles is ideally positioned to be a part of international tour groups traveling along interstate 10 from Houston to New Orleans. The Creole Nature Trail is particularly attractive as an experience for our international visitors where they can experience the great outdoors and connect with nature. In November 2021, Lake Charles hosted our first international conference, the 18th Americas LNG & Gas Summit & Exhibition, and will be hosting the event again in 2022. 

#FutureOfTravel is Rebuilding America’s Workforce 

Visit Lake Charles is hosting the ROSE awards during NTTW to celebrate those community members working in the hospitality sector who consistently deliver quality service. The Visit Lake Charles team is dedicated to our mission of advocating for tourism and promoting Southwest Louisiana as a dynamic destination, serving our visitors and our community. Below, a few of our passionate team members share what they believe is the biggest benefit of a career in tourism. 

Timothy Bush, Horizontal Formatted Headshot
"The opportunity to be a storyteller of all the wonderful things in Southwest Louisiana that people can experience year-round. Through the work that I do as part of the Visit Lake Charles team, I use my talents to connect visitors with our community’s countless stories that inspire people to travel here and that is powerful. I love being an advocate for the place I call home and what it provides in economic impact for our partners and stakeholders." - Timothy Bush, Chief Marketing Officer
Kristen Shriver, Horizontal Formatted Headshot
"The biggest benefit of working in the travel/tourism industry is getting to know people from all over the world and getting to show off our southern culture!" - Kristen Shiver, Visitor Services Manager
Colten Miller, Horizontal Formatted Headshot
"The industry is always evolving and progressing, and I’m able to learn and develop new skills that I can implement in my destination so that visitors can have the best experience while in Lake Charles." - Colten Miller, Director of Brand Marketing
Taylor Beard Stanley, Horizontal Formatted Headshot
"For me, the greatest benefit of getting to work in the travel and tourism industry is being a part of the economic fabric of my community. It is rewarding to know that what we do in the travel and tourism sector helps to build a brighter future for our destination that both residents and visitors will be able to enjoy!" - Taylor Beard Stanley, Senior Director of Convention Sales
Sam Dangerfield, III Horizontal Formatted Headshot
"I get to promote the city and state in which I work and live. It is a joy to share with others all the great things that my city has to offer. Home is where the heart is." - Sam Dangerfield III, Director of Sports Relations
Tara Johnson, Horizontal Formatted Headshot
"Working in travel/tourism allows me to connect with local and regional meeting planners looking for a new destination to host meetings and events. Tourists from all over the world stop at Visit Lake Charles to have a local experience, so in visiting with them, I often feel as though I traveled to their city without leaving the office." - Tara Johnson, Meeting Sales Manager