Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
September 6, 2013
Second 2013 Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit deemed huge success

More than 400 delegates, distinguished speakers and sponsors attended August's Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit. The three-day event at Baton Rouge's Crowne Plaza, hosted by the Office of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association and Visit Baton Rouge, marked the first time Louisiana's largest tourism industry conference was held twice in one year. Activity highlights include Louisiana tourism industry updates by Lt. Governor Dardenne and LOT chief Kyle Edmiston; a national tourism industry update from Chris Thompson with Brand USA; nine breakout sessions on industry-specific topics; a private reception with Lt. Governor Dardenne hosted at Houmas House Plantation; a dine-around evening event including several notable Baton Rouge restaurants; and five familiarization tours exploring Baton Rouge tourist attractions.

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne

Volunteer Louisiana - Americorps Regional Champion of Service   Nominate a Champion of Service
Volunteer Louisiana is celebrating 20 years of promoting an ethic of service throughout the state with a gala event Thursday, Oct. 24, honoring former NFL running back Warrick Dunn for his work with the Warrick Dunn Charities and Betty's Hope, and five regional Champions of Service. We need your help identifying the most suitable role models from each region. Volunteer Louisiana is seeking nominations of outstanding volunteers from throughout the state. Deadline to submit nominations is Monday, Sept. 16. For information or questions about the nominations process or the gala, contact Janet Pace at jpace@crt.la.gov.

Statewide casino winnings are up   Louisiana casino winnings up $15M from a year ago
The Times - Louisiana's statewide casino winnings are up from a year ago, even though the take fell at more than half of the casinos throughout the state. Recently released state figures show that two riverboats that opened within the past year made most of the increase.

Shadows-on-the-Teche   New Iberia named one of America's Prettiest Towns
Forbes - Being called "prettiest" probably ranks among the best awards a town can receive, especially when the honor comes from a noteworthy national publication. Forbes.com featured an image and description of New Iberia in its online feature America's Prettiest Towns. The image of Shadows-on-the-Teche Plantation was paired with a description from Andrew Evans, National Geographic Traveler's digital nomad, "It's hard to resist the pull of real down-home southern Louisiana bayou cooking and culture. Just kick back and enjoy the heat."

Allons is a free download available in iTunes.   Lafayette CVC launches iMagazine touting tourism
The Advertiser - The Lafayette Convention and Visitors Commission and its media partner, Firefly Digital, have launched an online magazine, Allons, to market Lafayette tourism in a way they believe is both interactive and unique. Allons provides users a variety of insights into places, sounds and attractions to those interested in visiting Lafayette. The iMagazine is free to download in iTunes.

Ecomony and travel continue recovery   Economic reports show economy continues to recover
The economy continues to recover despite modest growth in GDP reports the latest issue of the U.S. Travel Outlook. Steady increases in employment, continued growth in consumer confidence and a rebound in housing are all evidence of growth. July labor estimates show that non-farm payroll employment increased by 162,000 jobs last month, with strongest growth in retail, food services, financial activities and wholesale trade. Year-to-date, travel jobs have made up more than 6 percent of total jobs, according to the U.S. Travel Association.

Guide books and mobile apps tie for share of travel planning use   Survey finds guidebooks and mobile apps are used equally during travel
Skift - In a new weekly series Skift Asks, consumers planning a trip were asked the question: What do you use for travel information when traveling in an unfamiliar place on your holidays? Print guidebooks are still used by 10 percent of the population asked, almost the same as those who use mobile apps during travel. Online sources are exclusively used by about 20 percent, while 25 percent use all three sources-print, online and mobile.

Louisiana Oysters   Study shows promoting culinary can pay off
Group Tour Magazine - A new study shows the way to U.S. travelers' wallets may be through their stomachs. Almost a third of travelers choose destinations based on access to activities focused on food and drink, including beer and wine festivals, farmers' markets and farm-to-table experiences, according to the study for the World Food Travel Association and other tourism organizations conducted by travel market research firm Mandala Research.

Travel Sites   Travelers visit 38 sites before booking a vacation, study says
Skift - Some people truly enjoy planning a vacation, with all the excitement about choosing a destination, a place to stay, and what to do once you get there. But, for many travelers, trip planning can be a mammoth task. A new Expedia Media Solutions study, performed in collaboration with Compete, found that travelers who visited a destination marketing organization site within the 45 days prior to booking a vacation package on an online travel agency site, average 38 visits to travel sites before purchasing a vacation package.

Gen Xers lead fall travel growth   Gen Xers lead fall travel growth
Hotel News Resource - Generation X Americans plan to travel more this fall than their older and younger generational counterparts, according to a national survey by D.K. Shifflet & Associates. Almost one in six Gen Xers plan to travel for business at least once this fall compared to about one in 10 for millennials and boomers. Boomer fall travel is down compared to last year while both Generation X and millennial travel is increasing.

Victory Theater at the National World War II Museum   Museums use sophisticated technology to attract tech-savvy kids
The National World War II Museum was mentioned in a recent The Wall Street Journal article observing the use of modern technology to enhance visitor experiences by attractions nationwide. Trends indicate more museums, historic sites and family attractions are employing touch screens, apps and QR codes "to attract jaded and tech-savvy kids—and their equally smartphone-addicted parents," the article said. The trend began at larger sites in major cities and is now infiltrating smaller attractions in smaller cities. The article cited the World War II Museum's Beyond All Boundaries show as an example of high-tech offerings at museums. The show launched in 2009 and uses nine digital projectors, 27 speakers and more than a dozen machines that replicate smoke, haze and snow.

Artist rendering of proposed World Trade Center redevelopment project at the base of Canal Street   Former World Trade Center building eyed for upscale hotel, apartments
The Times Picayune - The former World Trade Center building at the foot of Canal Street will not be coming down. A city committee recently recommended Gatehouse Capital redevelop the 33-story structure as a hotel and residential building. The New Orleans Building Corporation would act as landlord for the city-owned site and building. Gatehouse wants to convert the building's bottom 12 floors into a 245-room upscale W Hotel and turn the remaining floors into apartments. Plans for the building also include a John Besh restaurant.

Upcoming Meetings & Events   Upcoming meetings & events

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

Facebook Twitter Flikr YouTube Flikr