LAKE CHARLES, La. (June 8, 2020) – Beginning March 16, many local businesses were either closed completely or reduced to providing carry out meals from their restaurants.  As Louisiana entered phase one of the White House Plan for Reopening America, these businesses were able to reopen but still with greatly reduced capacity.  Following Governor Edwards announcement on June 1st of plans for Louisiana to move into phase two on Friday, June 5th, Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter and Visit Lake Charles CEO Kyle Edmiston announced a partnership to encourage residents of the five parish Southwest Louisiana area to support our neighbors by shopping and eating at local establishments.

“Local shops, service industries, retail, hotels and restaurants that benefit from tourism experienced an unforeseen downturn that has altered business projections that were previously in store for 2020. It is a natural fit to partner with Visit Lake Charles to encourage residents to shop local, and we are proud to be able to bring awareness to attractions and offerings prevalent throughout the Lake Area,” said Mayor Nic Hunter of the City of Lake Charles.  

This spring, residents across the country reevaluated travel plans. According to data from Longwoods International, 52% of travelers are planning their first trip since the pandemic between now and July 4th.  Of those traveling, 25% changed their plans from a destination that required flying to one that is closer in proximity to home. Moving into the summer months, the City of Lake Charles partnered with Visit Lake Charles to encourage the idea of vacationing closer to home, which appealed to 34% of those surveyed, to bolster local businesses and inspire residents to rediscover attractions, the great outdoors, restaurants, local retail outlets and hidden gems. 

The online campaign that launched on Friday targets the 5-parish region and showcases the appeal of Southwest Louisiana and the myriad of adventures to be had this summer. Itinerary ideas, restaurants, resorts and attractions are outlined on the “rediscover” section of the Visit Lake Charles website to jumpstart ideas for residents to begin planning staycations.  

“The powerful ripple-effect of the pandemic has been widespread and difficult to overcome for the travel and tourism industry. Many of our events, conventions and groups had to either be canceled or postponed, and our industry partners have felt the loss across the board. We are fortunate to collaborate with Mayor Hunter and the City of Lake Charles to launch the stay local campaign not only to boost the regional economy by supporting our businesses but also to strengthen morale through the spirit of rediscovering Southwest Louisiana as we move forward through the summer months with resilience,” said Kyle Edmiston, President/CEO of Visit Lake Charles.  

For more information and ideas on things to see and do, log onto As you rediscover Southwest Louisiana, tag photos and videos with #RediscoverSWLA, #VisitLakeCharles and #LouisianasPlayground.


Please access and view the Rediscover Southwest Louisiana creative campaign elements including banner ads and a video, encouraging all of Southwest Louisiana to support local and explore Louisiana’s Playground. Itinerary ideas, the “Rediscover” video as well as additional offerings can be found at

View Campaign Elements: