As the state’s tourism industry rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic, Livingston native, Laine Hardy, will serve as the face of Louisiana tourism.

BATON ROUGE, LA – Yesterday, as part of National Travel and Tourism Week, Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser announced that American Idol star and Livingston Parish native, Laine Hardy, will serve as official Ambassador of Louisiana. The VIP reception held near Louisiana’s State Capitol included legislators, dignitaries, and representatives from local tourism and travel industry groups. This announcement comes as Louisiana’s tourism industry continues its recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and looks to welcome local travelers as part of its ongoing “Louisiana Is A Trip” marketing campaign.

“I am so proud to officially represent the great state of Louisiana as an Ambassador and excited to help spread the word about all my home state has to offer as part of the ‘Louisiana Is A Trip’ campaign,” said Hardy.

In 2019, Hardy took the national country music scene by storm as winner of American Idol season 17. As a rising country music star, he attributes much of his success to his upbringing in rural Livingston, Louisiana and his strong base of support from his home state. Like musicians and other performers across the country, Hardy was forced to postpone many of his in-person concerts and events due to the pandemic.

“It was great to have Laine perform for us last night as we honored him and welcomed him as a true, official Louisiana Ambassador to show the world that ‘Louisiana is a Trip.’ It was a special moment to be able to recognize this up-and-coming star as he gets set to head back out on tour, representing and promoting our state, our culture, and our way of life that will truly Feed Your Soul,” said Nungesser.

With the Louisiana Office of Tourism’s new “Louisiana Is A Trip” campaign, Nungesser is encouraging locals to explore attractions close to home and experience a one-of-a-kind road trip within the state.

“There is no place quite like Louisiana,” said Nungesser. “I encourage everyone to get out and experience one-of-a-kind road trips within the state. Not only will you make memories that will last a lifetime, but you’ll also be supporting local communities that are open and ready to welcome visitors. From Minden to Morgan City and communities in between, the tourism industry plays a critical role in stimulating local economies, putting Louisianans to work and ensuring the preservation of our unique culture and way of life.”

Nearly a quarter-million Louisianans are employed in the travel and hospitality industry – the fourth largest industry in the state. Despite last year’s unprecedented losses, March 2021 marked the industry’s first positive growth month since February 2020.

Learn more about the “Louisiana Is A Trip” campaign by visiting



May 6, 2021