NEW ORLEANS — First it was COVID-19. Then it was the delta variant. Now it’s Hurricane Ida.
Louisiana just can’t catch a break.
While many industries have found ways to get back to work amid the pandemic, tourism and hospitality are still struggling. Throw a hurricane on top of that, and it makes it even harder for some parts of Louisiana to get back on its feet.
“It’s going to be devastating to the tourism industry,” Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser said. “The ones that fall through the cracks are the small businesses in the tourism industry.”
Hotels are doing well in the short term, Nungesser said, as they are currently full of evacuees and emergency workers helping the city and the southeastern part of the state get back on its feet.
He hopes the visitors will start eating at local “mom-and-pop restaurants to help keep them alive.”
“All the shops and the jazz musicians in the Quarter, all the fairs and festivals in those regions — it’s another year without any income,” Nungesser said. “It’s really going to be devastating. And usually during a hurricane, the whole country comes to help us.”
Nungesser said between the pandemic and natural disasters, it’s not just Louisiana that is struggling.
“With the fires in California, it’s not just Louisiana having devastation anymore so it’s going to be on the shoulders of Lousianans to pick ourselves up,” he…