SHREVEPORT, La. – Big changes are coming for Shreveport and Bossier City.
This morning community leaders unveiled a 10-year plan to make the area a destination people want to visit.
Tourism brings millions of dollars into the Shreveport-Bossier area each year, so leaders are looking at how to expand on that and bring the two cities together.
“We are here together. We’re living together, and we want others to come here and relocate. Visit and retire here and make this their home as well,” said Lisa Johnson, Bossier Chamber of Commerce president.
Lots of excitement from local leaders Thursday morning as they unveiled a 10-year Destination Master Plan. The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau also got a rebrand. It’s now “Visit Shreveport-Bossier.”
“This is a wonderful way to really grow tourism in our community and increase the quality of life for our local citizens,” said Stacy Brown, Visit Shreveport-Bossier president.
In 2021 visitors brought $819 million to the area. Leaders hope to increase that to over a billion dollars. The plan has six key points. Some of those include accelerating the development of businesses on the waterfront.
“Obviously, it brings in dollars, and that’s very important to all of our budgets, but it also makes us feel better about who we are and it helps us, as I say, to love Shreveport,” said Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux.
Another is to prioritize support for local entrepreneurs and increase grants for small businesses.
Visit Shreveport-Bossier also wants to have more small businesses created that focus on outdoor recreation.
“We’ve got just about anything that you want. We’ve got fishing and at the end of day, we’re a hunting fisherman, Sportsman’s paradise. You can do just about anything here,” said Mike Walsworth with the Lt. Governor’s office.
Another priority is bringing the two cities together and increasing collaboration.
“Well, it’s a major accomplishment and I think one, when we realize that we really are one community as in as these activities are concerned and cooperate with each other, that we both get better results,” said Arceneaux.
Officials said increasing tourism will lead to a stronger and more vibrant community.