Last year was another record-breaking year for the tourism industry in Louisiana, Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne announced Thursday.

Louisiana registered 28.7 million visitors in 2014 — a 5 percent increase over 2013 — resulting in $11.2 billion in total visitor spending and $836 million in state tax revenue generated, said Dardenne, who oversees state tourism efforts.

The revenue generated through domestic and international visitors represents a more than 38-to-1 return on investment of state funding, he said.

The statistics came from the University of New Orleans’ newly issued annual report on the impact of tourism in Louisiana.

“Tourism had yet another great year thanks to creative marketing, dedicated industry leaders throughout the state and an incredible product — the many passions Louisiana offers,” Dardenne said in a news release. “Tourism and hospitality was Louisiana’s fastest-growing job sector in 2014, with 223,000 Louisianians employed in the industry.”

After taking office in November 2010, Dardenne created the brand “Louisiana: Pick Your Passion” to promote the variety of choices available to visitors to Louisiana. The industry has grown each year with Louisiana setting all-time records each year since 2012.

Dardenne’s office also reported that Louisiana is hitting milestones in its online tourism presence. ranks fifth among state tourism websites, with more than 2.2 million unique visitors, representing a 25 percent annual increase, and 4.9 million page views, representing an 18 percent annual increase. Louisiana Travel’s social media efforts ranked fourth among state tourism offices. Each platform experienced significant growth including a 201 percent increase of views on YouTube and 96 percent increase in Twitter followers.

UNO’s complete Louisiana forecast report will be available on the Louisiana Office of Tourism website later this month.

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