Baton Rouge feels the downtown tourism and hospitality industry is getting back to normal, with the number of hotel visitors even above that of 2019, Karron Alford, director of marketing and technology and Visit Baton Rouge, announced at the Downtown Development District meeting today.
Downtown hotels are seeing 53.6 per cent average occupancy in 2021 compared to 52.3 per cent average occupancy in 2019, Alford said. And while most visitors downtown prior to the pandemic were there for business, 2021 has been an increase in leisure travel.
Average daily rates at the hotels have decreased, however, Alford said, from $127.25 in 2019 to $114.19 in 2021.
Another riverboat cruise will be stopping in Baton Rouge in the fall, increasing the total to five.
“This is fantastic because the people on the boats support our attractions,” Alford said. “They support our restaurants and get downtown and take tours. They also use our companies to supply their boats.”
After seeing an uptick in tourists over the Fourth of July weekend, Alford said, events like the Marucci World Series, festival season and the return of Live After Five are also expected to bring more visitors.
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