Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
November 18, 2013
Pick Your Passion wins 2013 State Tourism of the Year Award

STS board chairwoman Susan Thomas presents Louisiana Office of Tourism Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston the Southeast Tourism Society's State Tourism Office of the Year Shining Example Award
The Louisiana Office of Tourism was awarded the Southeast Tourism Society's State Tourism Office of the Year Shining Example Award. The award was presented by Susan Thomas, STS board chairwoman, to tourism chief Kyle Edmiston Nov. 5 at the STS Fall Forum in Jacksonville, Fla. The award is based on team accomplishments, including effective tourism marketing, creativity in design and development and implementation of new projects. The Office of Tourism was recognized for its execution and incorporation of Pick Your Passion as well as the creation of Louisiana Soundtrack for the year of music.

  Lt. Governor's Mission to UK and Germany
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne will lead a sales and media mission to the United Kingdom and Germany, Feb. 10 - 14, 2014. Meetings with tour operators and travel media will be set up in Hamburg, Frankfurt and London. There is no cost for Louisiana partners to attend, aside from personal travel expenses and non-function meals. For information contact Mike Prejean at 225.342.4354 or mprejean@crt.la.gov. Deadline to sign up for participation is Wednesday, Nov. 20.

  History and culture experts sought for LOT media kit
We are seeking experts on various Louisiana subjects for a special section of LOT's media assistance kit. The section will include notable chefs, musicians, historians and experts on topics such as the state's architectural, art and literary history, who are willing to be interviewed by domestic and international media. The section will also identify sources who are bilingual and multilingual to appeal to foreign journalists. Submissions need to include the expert's name, a brief biography highlighting qualifications and expertise and hometown and contact information, either direct or through an agent. Experts should also be aware their information will be published in the media assistance section at www.LouisianaTravel.com in spring 2014. Submit expert information to Jeff Richard at jrichard@crt.la.gov by Friday, Dec. 6.

  Revisions sought for recurring events in LOT quarterly events calendar
The Office of Tourism is seeking stakeholder input on recurring events listed in the Quarterly Calendar of Events. Recurring events include farmers markets and concert series and are placed at the beginning of each calendar's listing with a description such as every Friday, every third Thursday or every last Saturday. Submissions must include when the event occurs, the host city, physical location and a phone number and website for more information. A list of existing recurring events can be found here. Additions, deletions and edits can be submitted to Jeff Richard at jrichard@crt.la.gov by Friday, Dec. 6.

Shelley Johnson, Executive Director, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB
Alana Cooper, Executive Director, Monroe-West Monroe CVB
Two LA destination marketers elected to STS board

Shelley Johnson, executive director of the Lakes Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB, and Alana Cooper, executive director of the Monroe-West Monroe CVB, were elected to the Southeast Tourism Society board of directors. Johnson will serve as vice-chair. The board of directors assists in developing and approving policies, procedures and regulations to govern STS operations.

Kisatchie National Forest
  San Francisco Chronicle lists Louisiana's top five hiking trails
A recent San Francisco Chronicle story listed the top five places to hike in Louisiana. The Bayou Chapter of the Ozark Society and the Louisiana Hiking Club provided the list based on factors including terrain, difficulty, scenic beauty and variety. The article also suggests which trails worked as single-day or multi-day hikes. The list includes three trails near Alexandria, one near Ville Platte and one near Minden.

  Boom or Bust Byway profiled by Dallas Morning News
Northwest Louisiana's Boom or Bust Byway and its 130-mile trek through Caddo, Bossier, Webster and Claiborne parishes was featured on The Dallas Morning News website. The byway is one of 17 scenic byways in Louisiana. The piece, by Shreveport Times' Margaret Martin, wrote about the snaking route and what is found in and around small towns such as Mooringsport, Oil City, Sarepta and Homer. Attractions include local diners, generations-old farms, Claiborne Parish's notable courthouse and Lake Claiborne State Park

Lake Charles Mayor Randy Roach and Southwest Louisiana CVB Chairman Michael Dees   Lake Charles named City of the Year by Acadiana Profile
KPLC-TV - Acadiana Profile named Lake Charles City of the Year during its 45th anniversary celebration last month. In February, the magazine ran a story titled Lake Charles: City of the Year. Michael Dees, chairman of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB, presented the City of the Year award to Mayor Randy Roach last week.

Representatives of St. Bernard Parish, Southern Food and Beverage Museum and Domino Sugar.   Gambit profiles Arabi's new sugar museum
Gambit recently profiled St. Bernard Parish's newest tourist attraction, a museum devoted to the history and evolution of the sugar industry in the parish. The Sugar Museum in Old Arabi recently opened in a former courthouse and jail dating to 1911 near the American Sugar Refining mill, known locally as the Domino refinery, the largest sugar refinery in the Western Hemisphere. Museum exhibits, built with the assistance of personnel with the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans, include tools related to early sugar granulation.

Atchafalaya National Wildlife Refuge   National wildlife refuges pump $2.4 billion into economy
America's national wildlife refuges continue to be strong economic engines for local communities throughout the country, pumping $2.4 billion into the economy and supporting more than 35,000 jobs, according to a new national report, Banking on Nature, released by the U.S. Department of Interior. The Southeastern region of the U.S., with the most refuges and many popular attractions, had the most visitors of any region-more than 12.4 million in FY 2011. The Southeastern region also generated the most combined jobs of any region, 9,455. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the largest network of lands in the nation set aside for wildlife, with 561 national wildlife refuges, at least one refuge in every state, covering more than 150 million acres. Louisiana has 24 National Wildlife Refuges.

  U.S. achieved record travel exports in August
Successful Meetings - After dropping slightly in July, U.S. travel exports, which are any goods or services purchased by international travelers, hit a record monthly high of $15 billion in August, up from $14.8 billion in July, according to the U.S. Travel Association. "While other export growth has slowed significantly in 2013, travel exports continue at a robust pace, which helped the travel industry generate a trade surplus of $4.6 billion in August," U.S. Travel Senior Vice President of Research and Economics David Huether said in a statement.

  More families are seeking vacations that cater to all ages
USA Today - Experts find an increasing demand for vacations that provide entertainment to all ages. "In the past few years, we have seen a tremendous increase in multigenerational travel. These groups want diversity. Something that can be pleasing to the most jaded adult and to the younger children and to everyone in between," Steve Loucks of Travel Leaders Group said. Among such options are theme parks including SeaWorld Orlando; its attraction Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin allows guests to choose mild or wild cars.

  FAA eases rules on electronic devices on planes
USA Today - Airlines are racing to allow passengers to use portable electronic devices such as readers and games during takeoffs, landings and taxiing after the Federal Aviation Administration announced a major policy change Oct. 31. FAA Administrator Michael Huerta announced the change at Reagan National Airport, saying airlines would still have to demonstrate that greater use of electronics will not interfere with each type of plane. Flight manuals, crew training and safety briefings also must be changed. The change is expected on most flights by the end of the year.

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.

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