Lt. Gov. Scott Angelle, in a Wednesday letter to BP’s general manager of governmental and public affairs, asks the oil giant to allocate additional funds to help the Louisiana tourism industry recover from the Deepwater Horizon spill. BP initially committed $15 million to mitigate the effect of the spill on the state’s hospitality industry, but citing a recent study on tourist perceptions of the Gulf Coast, Angelle says he believes the initial commitment is insufficient:

While 97 percent of the funds obtained through our original request to BP have been committed to many tourism and perception altering endeavors, the recent findings of the August perception study indicate that Louisiana is continuing to be constrained by negative national perception following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill. As the first state to invest in market studies to determine the effects of the oil spill, we are aware that there is a direct correlation between the oil spill and the negative perception of the Louisiana seafood brand to potential visitors.  Clearly we are in need of additional resources to continue this battle against negative perception.
The Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, over which Angelle has authority, commissioned Market Dynamics Research Group, a New Orleans-based company, to study perceptions of Louisiana’s tourism industry. Read MDRG’s findings here.

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