A mass shooting on Bourbon Street Sunday that left one dead and nine others injured is exactly the type of violence that could “destroy” Louisiana’s tourism industry, Lt. Gov Billy Nungesser said, according to a report.
“It’s the one thing that can destroy the tourism industry,” Nungesser told USA Today Network of Louisiana, the Monroe News Star reported. “Something has to change. We have to do something now before we let thugs kill tourism.”
Nungesser, who as lieutenant governor oversees the state’s Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism, has previously warned that violence in New Orleans could undermine the city's tourism industry. In an interview with The New Orleans Advocate in June, Nungesser said that despite coming off a record year for tourism, New Orleans must clean up its act or “it’s going to greatly affect our tourism numbers.”
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State Police Superintendent Mike Edmonson called Sunday’s shooting on Bourbon Street “an anomaly,” noting there was “an immense police presence” in the area at the time of the shooting.
“Unfortunately, we had two individuals brandishing weapons and shooting into crowds who weren’t deterred by the police presence,” Edmonson told USA Today Network. “I think this was an anomaly. I thought the police presence was appropriate.”
Nungesser said something needs to be done to ensure New Orleans keeps attracting tourists.
“We’ve had four straight record years of tourism, but that won’t continue if we don’t do something,” Nungesser told USA Today Network. “I don’t have the answers, but we better fix it. We have a short window to correct it before we begin feeling a hit to the industry.”