October 21, 2013
2012 Economic Impact of Travel on Louisiana Parishes report reveals growth

The 2012 parish-by-parish travel economic impact statistics prepared annually by the U.S. Travel Association show modest growth. Domestic traveler expenditures directly generated close to $2 billion in wages and salaries, 101,300 jobs and $621.1 million in tax revenue for the state treasury and local governments. Direct visitor spending estimates for Louisiana parishes, parish level employment, payroll and tax revenues as a result of direct visitor spending are included.

  Integrated media buy in opportunity
The Louisiana Office of Tourism and LTPA have partnered with Madden Media to produce the Louisiana Integrated Magazine Insert Campaign. CVBs can buy into the 8-page insert that will reach 750,000 magazine readers through Food & Wine, National Geographic Traveler and O The Oprah Magazine. Participants' reach will be extended through digital distribution of the piece through Coverleaf.com's online magazine database, marketing e-mails and Facebook ad impressions. CVB partners can participate for as little as $6,000. For more information contact Danah Heye at 727.542.5462 or dheye@maddenmedia.com. The deadline to sign up to participate is Dec. 6.

Courir de Mardi Gras   Mardi Gras marketing opportunity
The Louisiana Office of Tourism is seeking information for a marketing campaign promoting the 2014 Mardi Gras season to drive market travelers. The campaign will offer both event information and an educational component. Content sought from DMOs include: A summary of what makes your Mardi Gras celebration unique; high quality video and/or photographs that are permissible to republish; a calendar of parades and Mardi Gras activities; a list of Mardi Gras attractions and exhibits; and any Web or print resources that can assist in planning a trip. The campaign will be primarily digital and run from Jan. 6 to March 2, focusing on median-income adults in markets including Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston, Memphis, Jackson-Hattiesburg and Oklahoma City. Email submissions to Jeff Richard at jrichard@crt.la.gov by Friday, Oct. 25.

  Quarterly calendar of events submission
The Louisiana Office of Tourism is producing its first quarter Calendar of Events which includes events from January through March 2014. 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, Oct. 25.

  Mansfield State Historic Site renovates, reopens
Renovated displays at the Mansfield State Historic Site
Renovated displays at the Mansfield State Historic Site
Mansfield State Historic Site recently renovated its battlefield museum offering new exhibits and a new approach to interpreting the Civil War's Red River Campaign. The stories of battle participants and a campaign timeline now accompany the site's collection of weaponry and artifacts from the 1864 Battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill. The $145,000 renovation, financed by a private sector donation, includes fresh paint and new lighting and flooring.

  STS 20 Top Events for April, May & June
Southeast Tourism Society is wrapping up its Top 20 Events and is seeking additional nominations for June. The deadline for nominating June events is Friday, Oct. 25. Nominated events must have an attendance of at least 1,000 and be in the third year of existence. There is a $20.00 entry fee required per event. Top 20 Events strongly encourages entrants to support their nomination by providing supporting material such as photos, posters, brochures, press releases, news clippings and/or volunteer programs.

STS Fall Forum
The STS Fall Forum is Nov. 4 - 6 in Jacksonville, Fla. Randy Garfield, president of Walt Disney Travel Co., is the keynote speaker. The Omni Jacksonville Hotel is offering a meeting rate from Nov. 1 - 8, rates close Oct. 25.


Norwegian Jewel
  Norwegian Cruise Line brings its largest ship to New Orleans
The Times-Picayune - The Norwegian Cruise Line is bringing the Norwegian Jewel to the Port of New Orleans Oct. 13. The 2,376-passenger ship features 16 dining options, 13 bars and lounges and exclusive Nickelodeon programming for children and families. The Jewel is the largest and newest ship from Norwegian Cruise Line to make New Orleans its home port.

Maravich Center at LSU
  LSU to host 2014 NCAA basketball
LSUSports.net - For the third straight season, March Madness returns to the Maravich Center. LSU has been selected as a host site for the 2014 NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament First and Second Rounds between March 22 and March 25. Actual game dates and times for Baton Rouge will be unveiled by the NCAA Oct. 23.

Louisiana Spirits Distllery in Lacassine
  Jeff Davis distillery opens doors
American Press - Louisiana Spirits, makers of Bayou Rum, recently opened its $8 million distillery, just off I-10 in Lacassine, to the public for free tours and tastings. The 20-minute tour begins with a brief video of the history of sugar cane in Louisiana before visitors are given a guided tour of how Bayou Rum is pasteurized, fermented, distilled, aged and bottled. The tour ends at a handmade cypress copper-top tasting bar where adults can sample the rum.

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, New Orleans
  New Orleans one of three finalists for 2018 Super Bowl
The Times-Picayune - The NFL has officially invited New Orleans to bid to host Super Bowl LII in 2018. The New Orleans Saints and Greater New Orleans Sports Foundation are officially beginning the bid process to host an NFL-record 11th Super Bowl in 2018, while celebrating the city's Tricentennial.

Tiger Stadium, LSU
  Tiger Stadium named top 5 for college football
LSU's Tiger Stadium has been named in the top five stadiums for watching college football by USA Today. Notable national venues were ranked on size, noise, history and aesthetics. Tiger Stadium scored high in the Oct. 7 report for factors including home field intimidation and "earthquake-level reverberations." "Suffocating, claustrophobic and steamy Death Valley seems carved out of another era-I'm thinking ancient Rome," author Paul Myerberg said.

Decatur Street at Jackson Square, New Orleans
  Packagers' sales are growing faster than U.S. recovery
Travel Weekly - Major tour packagers and agency groups are reporting double-digit sales increases so far this year, and that growth is coming on top of recent record-breaking or near-record years. Significantly, these sales increases are not catch-up volume from the declines of 2008 and 2009, but rather strong, persistent evidence that growth in the travel industry is far outpacing the larger U.S. economic recovery.

  FAA panel backs easing of device rules
The New York Times - Airline passengers should be allowed to use their personal electronic devices to read, play games or enjoy movies and music, even when planes are on the ground or flying below 10,000 feet, according to recommendations an advisory panel sent to the Federal Aviation Administration. The use of cellphones to make voice calls, which was not part of the review, will still be prohibited throughout flights.

  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.