September 20, 2013
IPW 2014 buy-in opportunity

The Louisiana Office of Tourism is offering DMO partners the opportunity to buy a badge in the Louisiana booth at the 2014 U.S. Travel Association IPW, April 5 9, in Chicago. The cost per badge is $3,000, which includes booth-share status, shared appointments and all official meals and functions. The buy-in does not include travel expenses nor access to the Media Marketplace. The deadline to apply for one of nine slots is Oct. 18. If interested, contact Mike Prejean at or 225.342.4354.

  LA named among top 10 most tax-friendly states for retirees
The Greater Baton Rouge Business Report Boasting "a bayou full of tax breaks to retirees," Louisiana once again has been included on Kiplinger's list of The Top Ten Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees. The magazine notes low personal income and property tax rates, being able to freeze assessed home values, and Social Security, military, civil-service, and state and local government pensions being exempt from state income taxes as contributing factors.

  Travel South USA Domestic Showcase buy-in opportunity
The annual travel tradeshow schedule for Feb. 23 - 25 in Charleston, W.Va., offers Southern suppliers the opportunity to conduct pre-scheduled appointments with top U.S. and Canadian operators and travel trade media who have a targeted interest in bringing business to Southern states. The Office of Tourism is sponsoring Travel South's Welcome Breakfast Monday, Feb. 23. For $1,000, up to six DMOs will receive their logos on the printed piece, photos displayed during the event, the opportunity to include a video in the breakfast presentation and mentions during the breakfast. For more information, contact Misty Shaw at or 225.219.9858. Deadline to participate is Dec. 3.

  TTRA's Marketing Outlook Forum
The Travel and Tourism Research Association's Marketing Outlook Forum: A Global Perspective, Oct. 28 - 30, in Chicago is the leading travel trends and forecasting conference combining industry networking and quality educational programs. MOF attracts delegates from nearly all state and provincial tourism offices in the U.S. and Canada, international tourism offices, airlines and hotels and many travel industry suppliers. TTRA will be hosted at the historic Drake Hotel, a Chicago landmark.

  STS Top 20 Events for April - June deadline Oct. 4
The deadline for nominating events to the Southeast Tourism Society's Top 20 Events for April - June is Oct. 4. Nominated events must be at least three years old and have an attendance of at least 1,000. Top 20 Events strongly encourages entrants to support their nomination by providing supporting material such as photos, posters, brochures, press releases, news clippings and volunteer programs. There is a $20 entry fee per event with two copies of the nomination form and supporting materials required.

Tickfaw State Park
  Tickfaw State Park makes list of 10 great hidden state parks
USA Today - National parks may get all the attention, but state parks pack in visitors, especially during fall when cooler weather invites exploration. Fall is a perfect time to venture into the wetlands at Tickfaw State Park. It is easy to explore on boardwalks that stretch for more than a mile. Visitors can rent canoes during the day, and then set out on a night hike to soak up the spooky, swampy atmosphere.

  Shreveport branded "Southern Soul Capitol"
KSLA-TV - Shreveport has been dubbed the "Southern Soul Capital" as part of an effort to bring recognition to the rich music history of Northwest Louisiana and bring more visitors to the region. The branding is a collaborative effort among the Shreveport-Bossier TCB, Shreveport Regional Arts Council and by Playaz and Playettes, Inc.

  Barbershop music jam profiled by Lake Charles media
American Press - A recurring and somewhat unusual weekend music jam session series in Jefferson Davis Parish recently caught the eyes and ears of media outlets in Lake Charles. The jam is held not at a music hall or music store but at Ray's Barbershop in Lake Arthur. The jam occurs twice a month in the tiny shop where visitors can enjoy Cajun, bluegrass and gospel music played by local and regional musicians. Both the American Press and Lake Charles' NBC affiliate, KPLC, ran features on the jam series earlier this month.

  Proposed food truck would be missionary for St. John Parish cuisine
The Advocate - The self-proclaimed "Andouille Capital of the World" may take its show on the road. The St. John the Baptist Parish Council is considering buying a mobile food truck for local restaurant owners to use to sell food at special events in the parish and throughout the region. The initiative is part of the parish's "Taste of St. John" campaign, which aims to promote local restaurants. begins service to Baton Rouge
The Advocate -, a national express bus company, now offers daily service in Baton Rouge with three trips per day to and from both New Orleans and Houston. One-way prices range between $14 and $27 for New Orleans and Houston. It will take passengers less than 2 hours to get to New Orleans and less than 5 hours to get to Houston.

  Americans planning more travel domestically in 2014
Hospitality Net - TripAdvisor recently announced the results of its Trip Barometer, the world's largest accommodation and traveler survey. The survey reveals the leading travel and hospitality industry trends, according to more than 19,000 travelers and more than 10,000 accommodation business owners around the world. The study is conducted twice a year, and the results are analyzed independently by research firm Edelman Berland.

  Travelers seek out local info via mobile
eMarketer - The number of travelers who have smartphones and tablets has grown exponentially in the past two years, according to travel marketing agency MMGY Global. Among U.S. leisure travelers with a household income of at least $50,000 who took a trip at least 75 miles from home in 2012, 62 percent used smartphones this year, and 43 percent used tablets to make travel decisions.

  Study finds significant growth in adventure travel market
Adventure Travel News - Growth in the adventure travel market has increased 65 percent annually since 2009 according to the newly released Adventure Tourism Market Study, a consumer report by The George Washington University conducted in partnership with the Adventure Travel Trade Association. The report also reveals that adventure travel is now a $263 billion industry.

  Google Glass used for the first time in destination marketing
Tnooz - The Lee County VCB invited five Google Glass Explorers, those enrolled in Google's early adopt program testing Google's wearable computer glasses, to experience the destination as part of its "Find Your Island" promotion. The Explorers also completed a series of activities and challenges that showcased both the destination and the potential for Glass in the hospitality sector. Early results of the promotion include reaching 1.3 million social media users, generating 17.9 million social media impressions and receiving more than 8,000 entries in the Find Your Island #ThroughGlass Sweepstakes.

  Upcoming meetings & events

If you have comments or suggestions for future issues of Travel Pulse, contact Jay Tusa at or 225.342.8142.