Gov. John Bel Edwards announced the appointment of local tourism and hospitality leaders to Resilient Louisiana, a state commission charged with examining Louisiana’s economy amid the COVID-19 pandemic and making recommendations for more resilient business-related activities and commerce in the coming months. The 18-member panel includes representatives of important sectors within the Louisiana economy, with Walt Leger III, senior vice president, general counsel of New Orleans & Company representing tourism alongside Ti Martin, co-proprietor of Commander’s Palace, representing restaurants.

“The tourism and hospitality industries are vital to the state’s economy,” said Stephen Perry, president and CEO of New Orleans & Company. “The inclusion of our members and staff to this commission will ensure the effort of safely planning for Louisiana’s future will incorporate valuable insight from our restaurants, hotels and attractions.”

The commission will include a task force structure dedicated to strengthening specific sectors of Louisiana’s economy. Task forces will be focused on solutions for such critical sectors as energy and manufacturing; health care, including improved delivery of medical care, health equity and enhanced facilities; tourism, including hotels, gaming and related hospitality entities; rural development; education and workforce; and economic and community development, including strategies for making regions and communities more resilient in the face of future health care threats and other risks.

Mark Romig, chief marketing officer and senior vice president of New Orleans & Company was appointed to the Hospitality & Tourism Task Force, which includes New Orleans & Company members Michael Smith of the Hyatt Regency and Stephen Watson of the National World War II Museum. This task force will focus on the challenges unique to the tourism industry and provide the Resilient Louisiana Commission with recommendations to include in the comprehensive plan.

About New Orleans & Company

New Orleans & Company is a nationally accredited, 1,100-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. New Orleans & Company and its members and partners influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding, visitor services and local advocacy initiatives at our New Orleans headquarters. Consistently recognized as one of the top five destination marketing organizations in the country, New Orleans & Company celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2020. For more information, please visit