Why is Louisiana not at the forefront of the tourism industry in the United States? With so much to do and see, why is her name more synonymous with “oil spill” and “Hurricane Katrina” than it is with “blue crabs” and “redfish”? As much as I get asked about the BP oil spill and the effects of Hurricane Katrina I get the impression that is what lingers in the minds of people when they think “Louisiana”. It’s a disservice by the media done to the people of Louisiana and those that want to vacation here. It seems whenever people visit that is what they ask! And when I travel abroad, people are concerned if we have rebuilt yet despite it being nearly seven years. Others have heard our food is contaminated or just merely make the assumption. Fact of the matter is, there’s a lot of perceptions and disinformation out there and they are flat out wrong. Let Captain Devin shed some light here!
Here in Louisiana we are the world’s best destination for fishing and hunting, and of course, the greatest food derived from that fishing and hunting. We can’t be beat because we have vast wetlands the Mighty Mississippi River spent thousands of years building. Every day, she enriches those wetlands with nutrients and alluvial deposits from all over the continent. We have it all, you just name it! Pigs, deer, speckled trout, blue crabs, redfish, oysters, ducks, tuna, red snapper, the list goes on and on! And not only do we have those things but we have a lot of those things. For example, from 1990 to 2000, recreational fisherman averaged close to 7 million trout a year. link How about that, Florida? Louisiana is the nation’s third largest rice producer. Blue crabs? Sorry, Maryland, but we got that covered, too. Your combined catch with Virginia in 2000 fell slightly short of ours, 50 million pounds of blue crabs. Despite an oil spill and multiple hurricanes, it’s clear the Louisiana blue crab is going nowhere and is in healthy supply.
But why haven’t we overcome the previously mentioned stigmas? I’m not going to point fingers, it’s not my style. My style is to be part of the solution, and this is partly why I named this blog post “Divided We Fall, United We Prevail“. We as Louisianans can work together to get the word out! The preservation of Louisiana culture and our dwindling tourism economy depends on it. And right now we are poised more than ever to prevail. How is this? I have the Internet and social media to thank. Finally, we can escape the confines of our own travel agencies and get the word out: it’s a great time down here in Louisiana! The water’s fine, jump on in! I share this on Facebook, my blog, website, YouTube and Twitter. Don’t hesitate to bring up all the day-to-day things you do here. Elsewhere those simple things are probably a big deal. A friend of mine from Georgia couldn’t believe that open alcohol containers are allowed!
I have been around the world and have experienced a lot of different seafood. It’s hard to beat our oysters, trout, redfish and blue crabs. Nobody has it like us! If you live here in Louisiana with me, then you know what I am talking about. It’s not just our outdoors, it is also our culture. Come shop in the French Quarter, drink coffee with chicory and eat some beignets. Have you ever rode on a steamboat? You can in New Orleans! Try beer from our famed breweries, like Abita and Covington Breweries. Better yet, go to Pirate’s Alley and try some real absynthe or listen to the world’s best jazz at Fritzel’s Jazz Pub on the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann.
If you are reading this, then please share this with your friends and family. If you are going to visit New Orleans or elsewhere in Louisiana, then don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com to get pointers on where to go and what to do. It would mean the world to me!