Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
July 12, 2013
Louisiana tops AAA Southern Traveler's Best of the South annual reader poll

For the fourth year, AAA readers shared their picks for the South's best places to visit, stay, dine and have fun. Louisiana has garnered the top spot in multiple categories of the Best of the South annual reader poll including New Orleans as the Best Large City for a Weekend Getaway and Best Music City; French Quarter, Best Attraction in New Orleans; Great River Road, Best Day Tour from New Orleans; Hotel Monteleone, Best Large Hotel; Court of Two Sister's, Best Outdoor Dining; LSU's Tiger Stadium, Best SEC Stadium; Creole Nature Trail, Best Nature Trail/Natural Area; L'Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles, Best Casino; Louisiana Shrimp and Petroleum Festival, Best Seafood Festival; Louisiana's Audubon Golf Trail, Best Golf Trail.

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne
  Gulf of Mexico Pivotal to Gulf States tourism
The coastal environment of the Gulf of Mexico supports a $19 billion annual wildlife tourism industry that is highly dependent on critical investments in coastal environmental restoration, according to a survey released on July 9 by Datu Research LLC.

"With so many outdoor adventure opportunities, tourism is a critical industry to our coastal parishes," Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said. "Sportsman's Paradise is more than our state's nickname. If Louisiana is to remain the Sportsman's Paradise, we have to ensure that funds Louisiana receives as a result of the Deepwater Horizon spill are properly and wisely spent preserving our paradise."

Key findings of the report show that wildlife tourism:

  • Generates more than $19 billion in annual spending.
  • Attracts 20 million participants annually across the five Gulf Coast states.
  • Delivers $5.3 billion annually in federal, state and tax revenues

Lt. Governor's Toruism Summit   Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit
The Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit is the state's top industry educational event and an exceptional way to network, share ideas with your peers in the industry and gain insight from nationally acclaimed speakers. In 2013, the Summit is moving to August. The second 2013 summit will be held Aug. 26 - 28 in Baton Rouge at the Crowne Plaza. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne will deliver his state of the tourism industry address and Chris Thompson, president/CEO of Brand USA, will provide information on programs and partnerships Brand USA is unveiling as the nation's first cooperative destination marketing organization. Early registration ends Aug. 19.

Great Balls of Fire: Delta Blues and Rock & Roll in Jerry Lee's Hometown
  Louisiana Soundtrack Experience
The Louisiana Office of Tourism and Oxford American are hosting another Louisiana Soundtrack Experience event, Great Balls of Fire: Delta Blues and Rock & Roll in Jerry Lee's Hometown, Aug. 3 in Ferriday. The free event includes a concert featuring opening act The Matthew Davidson Band and headliners Kenny Bill Stinson and Easy Eddie & the Partyrockers; a panel discussion, Preserving Our Musical Heritage moderated by Oxford American Louisiana Music issue guest editor Alex Rawls featuring Kenny Bill Stinson, Susan Roach, J.D. Davis and Tommy Polk; and a presentation of the film Sunshine By The Stars: Celebrating Louisiana Music. DMO participation is available for remaining events in Ferriday and New Orleans. For additional information, contact LeAnne Weill at 225.342.8144 or lweill@crt.la.gov.

Calendar of Events 2013 - October - November - December   Quarterly calendar of events submission
The Louisiana Office of Tourism is producing its fourth quarter Calendar of Events which includes events from October through December 2013. To include an event in the printed calendar, submit it to the online calendar on LouisianaTravel.com. Events can be loaded via the "Submit Event" link at the bottom of the LouisianaTravel.com home page. For additional information or assistance, contact Jeff Richard at 225.342.7454 or jrichard@crt.la.gov. Online event submission deadline is 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2.

The Robertson family
The Robertson family
click to enlarge
  Duck Dynasty tourism trickles down
The News Star - Residual business from tourists seeking to be "Happy, Happy, Happy" by visiting the Duck Commander warehouse retail store in West Monroe translates into increased tourist spending at area restaurants, hotels, retailers and other attractions. Alana Cooper, executive director of the Monroe-West Monroe Convention and Visitors Bureau, said her agency is poised to capitalize on Duck Dynasty's popularity. Before the end of the month, the CVB plans on releasing an official Duck Commander hometown tour brochure and mobile website.

Louisiana Spirits Distillery   New rum distillery wants to reign in Louisiana
The Advertiser - Bayou Rum is on the shelves in Louisiana supermarkets and the makers are not slowing down. Trey Litel and his partners have constructed a distillery and tourism center some 50 miles west of Lafayette with the objective to produce an outstanding Louisiana rum and market it in a way that showcases Louisiana at its finest.

Fourth of July fireworks over the Mississippi River, New Orleans
Fourth of July fireworks over the Mississippi River,
New Orleans
  New Orleans tops Priceline's most popular July 4th Destination List
WVUE Fox 8 - The New Orleans French Quarter was the nation's most popular destination for July 4 weekend travelers, according to the Priceline.com Top 50 Destinations for July 4th. The travel company based its findings on hotel reservations made through its online reservation service. The destination exceeded last year's top spot, New York City's Midtown West which came in third this year, as well as Chicago's North Michigan Avenue which came in second.

Classic American road trips rebounding   Americans are planning to hit the road, leaving the staycation behind
Hospitality-Industry.com - The outlook for family summer travel is bright, according to a new national survey by Choice Hotels and FamilyFun magazine. With the economy improving, more than four out of five respondents (83 percent) said they plan to take an overnight leisure trip of more than 100 miles roundtrip this summer, up from last year's survey (78 percent). In fact, the majority of these travelers (53 percent) expect to take two or more leisure trips this summer. Shrinking regional air routes and rising airline fees may drive a return of the classic American road trip. The survey also found that nine in 10 respondents planning summer holiday trips will make the journey by car.

Online reviews sway marketing   With online reviews critical to travelers, marketers adjust their approach
eMarketer - Travelers have always relied heavily on recommendations for trip inspiration and planning, and online review sites have made peer commentary much more visible and accessible. As this information becomes simultaneously more sophisticated and unwieldy, there are both opportunities and challenges for marketers, according to a new eMarketer report

Social media key performance indicators   Top social media key performance indicators
Inc. - Social-savvy marketers are building brand reach, nurturing leads and generating sales on social networks now more than ever before. Most marketers find, however, that generating returns on social media is an elusive achievement. So what sets apart success from failure in social media marketing? The top performance indicators that lead to growth in brand reach, lead nurturing and sales on social media include simplicity, follower growth and setting goals.

Changing times lead to change in hotel ammenities sought by travelers   Hotel offerings most important to travelers
Hotel Marketing - Cable TV, air conditioning and swimming pools were once among the most sought after hotel offerings, but today's travelers demand much more from their hotel amenities, services and features. According to a recent crowdsourcing campaign conducted by leading online booking website Hotels.com, U.S. travelers are most intent on having access to free Wi-Fi, shuttle service and kitchenettes.

Upcoming Meeting & Events   Upcoming meetings & events

If you have comments or suggestions for future issues of Travel Pulse, contact Jay Tusa at jtusa@crt.la.gov or 225.342.8142.

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