New Orleans top tourism official unhappy with COVID response

The head tourism official in New Orleans says he's increasingly worried the industry isn't getting the support it needs -- from the city, from the state, even from Washington.

"I have a sense of just extreme worry," New Orleans & Company President and CEO Steven Perry said, noting how the CARES Act and Payroll Protection Program did not apply to his organization.

"Unlike after Katrina, we have been utterly failed by our Congressional delegations, Republican and Democratic both," Perry said, explaining that being cut out of the federal pandemic rescue package hamstrung marketing efforts..

"It's made it extremely difficult to galvanize and begin get customers back that drive our industry."

Perry said state aid was cut in the final budget negotiations in Baton rouge. And he says the city's delay in entering phase three is killing them.

"The small businesses that comprise the vast majority of our industry are in real trouble," he said.