Shalisa Roland: Tourism rebounds to pre-pandemic summer travel levels

Mardi Gras parades, like this one in Shreveport, are a major attractor for tourism, especially for Shreveport-Bossier. (Courtesy of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau)

2020 taught us a lot about the impact of tourism on Shreveport-Bossier’s economy. After Mardi Gras tourism hit an all-time high for Shreveport-Bossier in 2020, travel soon slowed down due to the pandemic. Tourism hit all-time lows and numerous reoccurring slow seasons for hotels, restaurants, casinos, attractions, venues, transportation systems and more. As the hospitality industry and travelers began to adjust to traveling amidst the pandemic, Shreveport-Bossier saw an uptick in tourism by late summer and early fall of 2020. Now, 2021 tourism statistics for the sister cities compare closer to 2019 reports.

The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau hosted their 2021 North Louisiana Travel Outlook Conference on Tuesday, Sept. 14 at the Shreveport Convention Center. Keynote speaker Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics, explained the duress that tourism underwent in 2020 and shared his trajectories for 2022 and beyond.  

Sacks’ presentation revealed that the current hotel occupancy rate is in-line with pre-pandemic levels, in some months, exceeding occupancy in 2019. Shreveport-Bossier experiences its heaviest traffic from travelers during the summer months. In 2019, the occupancy rate consisted of 65-70 percent occupancy rate in May, June, and July, whereas 2021 consisted of approximately 68 percent and above. The average daily rate of hotel occupancy in 2021 has exceeded 2019, especially during the summer months. Sacks’ research suggests travelers’ intention to travel remain steady for the next six months with an average of 65-85 percent intent.

Hotel occupancy is a key performance metric that the Tourist Bureau monitors to gage the economic impact of tourism. The summer of 2021 has shown a strong rebound for travel for leisure, group, and sports tourism. To see the hospitality industry and community in action with things to do, eat, see and experience, visit 

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