Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
December 20, 2013
IPW marketplace buy-in opportunity

2014 IPW Marketplace The Louisiana Office of Tourism will have a larger presence at U.S. Travel Association's 2014 IPW marketplace. The state booth will consist of four combined 10-foot-by-10-foot sections. The fourth section was added to promote Louisiana Trails and Byways to international markets. Byways are of major interest to international travelers seeking an authentic American experience. Byways are prominently listed within the four experience pillars of Brand USA's marketing plan to attract more international visitors. There are three buy-in opportunities available in the Byways section of the booth. The $3,000 buy-in includes booth registration and official functions, but not travel expenses or the Media Marketplace. The show is April 5 - 9 in Chicago. Hotel information and reservations for U.S. suppliers are available at www.wynjade.com/ustravelsuppliers14. For more information contact Doug Bourgeois at dbourgeois@crt.la.gov or 225.342.8146. If you are interested in promoting your Byway at IPW 2014, complete and email the registration form to Doug by Dec. 30.

  Three 2014 Grammy nominees to headline Baton Rouge concert
Hot 8 Brass Band, Zachary Richard and Terrence Simien and the Zydeco Experience will perform at a Jan. 11 celebration in Baton Rouge recognizing all of Louisiana's 2014 Grammy-nominated artists. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne's office and the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism are sponsoring the event. It will also recognize artists who participated in DCRT's 2013 Louisiana Music Ambassadors program, which sponsored Louisiana acts playing at major national and international festivals and venues. The concert begins at 7 p.m. at Baton Rouge Magnet High School's auditorium. Advance tickets are $25 and available at brmhs.ebrschools.org. The three headliners are among 11 Louisiana acts recently announced as finalists for America's top music honor. The acts are spread among categories including Best Regional Roots, Best Americana Roots and Best Album in genres including jazz, country, blues, R&B and gospel.

  Suggested story ideas sought for LOT media kit
The Office of Tourism's Communication and Research Section is seeking suggested story ideas from around the state for a revision in the section's media assistance kit. Examples of past stories include: Film Production Boom in Louisiana about Louisiana's fast growing film production; Mardi Gras: More than a New Orleans Tradition about statewide Mardi Gras traditions; and Bountiful waters: Fishing in Louisiana about the various waterways catering to multiple types of fishing. Ideas should be submitted in a one-paragraph format; they should showcase uniqueness to and within a city or region and include relevant websites, assistance resources and contact information. Submissions can be made to Jeff Richard at jrichard@crt.la.gov. The deadline is Friday, Jan. 3.

  Travel Alliance Partners holds annual meeting in Baton Rouge
Travel Alliance Partners, an organization of premier U.S. and Canadian tour operators, held its annual meeting in Baton Rouge, Dec. 4 - 7. All 31 Travel Alliance Partners were represented at the annual meeting. Many of the Travel Alliance Partners, each considered a regional expert offering new and unique itineraries, arrived early for a FAM tour which included Zachary, St. Francisville and Baton Rouge. The LSU Rural Life Museum hosted the opening night function which included several Louisiana delegates who are Guild Members in Travel Alliance Partners. Houma's House and Boutin's entertained Travel Alliance Partners on various nights.

Karen Profita, Executive Director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board   Karen Profita named executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board
NOLA.com - Karen Profita, former CEO of the Capital Area United Way, was recently hired by Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne to lead the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. Board members received more than a dozen applications, interviewed four candidates and sent two recommended candidates for the job to Lt. Governor Dardenne. He chose Profita, who has a 20-year background in marketing, nonprofit and fundraising work. She is new to the seafood industry. Ewell Smith resigned as board executive director shortly after state lawmakers shifted oversight responsibility of the board to the lieutenant governor. The change was designed to strengthen supervision of a 14-member panel that has received millions of dollars in recovery money from the 2010 oil spill.

  I'm Cajun... and Proud license plates unveiled
Two Cajun Country lawmakers recently unveiled Louisiana's new I'm Cajun... and Proud license plates, which will promote Louisiana culture while generating scholarship funds for the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana. The plates debuted in Breaux Bridge at a ceremony hosted by state Sen. Fred Mills of New Iberia and Rep. Mike Huval of Breaux Bridge, whose legislation created the plates. Mills' companion bill will allow drivers to get a similar stamp on driver's licenses. The annual fee for the license plates is $15. Proceeds will strengthen CODOFIL's Escadrille Louisiane program.

French Quarter, New Orleans   New Orleans and its Mardi Gras top lists in National Geographic Traveler, Fodor's Travel
The Big Easy and its largest annual celebration is included in top destination lists published by National Geographic Traveler and Fodor's Travel. National Geographic Traveler included New Orleans in a list of must-see places for 2014. "New Orleans, like Rome or hope, is eternal," author Andrew Nelson said, as he praised the city's legendary food, music, ongoing neighborhood revitalization efforts and a recent influx of new residents. He reported that the city has seen 20,000 new residents in the last four years. Fodor's Travel included the city's Mardi Gras in a photo gallery of 15 Festivals to Attend Before you Die.

Lafayette, Louisiana   Travel + Leisure names Lafayette a 'best college town'
Lafayette was recently named one of America's best college towns by Travel + Leisure magazine. Twenty-two U.S. cities received the honor based on social media nominations and voting by the magazine's readers. In total, 744 cities received nominations in 55 different categories. Lafayette was in the top five for friendliest, cool souvenirs, burgers and local accent and was in the top ten for cafes, bars, ice cream and fairs. "If our reader poll had included a most well-rounded category, Lafayette may very well have swept the competition," author Beth Collins said.

  Leisure travelers increasingly affluent-and female
Today.com - There are more affluent travelers than ever before. More of them are women, and they are ready to spend more on their vacations. Those are some of the key findings of the 2013 Portrait of American Travelers report by travel marketing firm MMGY Global and Harrison Group marketing research firm. The study found that six percent of leisure travelers have an annual household income of $250,000, up from four percent in 2010, and that women now make up the majority-54 percent-of those affluent travelers, up from 42 percent in 2010.

  The New Generation of Business Travelers
4Hoteliers - With one more month left in the year, all eyes are focused on what is to come in 2014. In the travel industry, that means putting a plan in place that attracts new consumers, retains repeat guests and identifies where the biggest opportunities for growth are in the consumer segment. The business travel market is pushing the price points for 2014, and at the helm of this are millennials.

  House lawmakers target meeting spend
MeetingsNet - The U.S. House of Representative passed a bill Nov. 18 that covers some old ground-cutting spending on government meetings. The bill, the DATA Act, calls for federal agencies to cut spending on government meetings and travel to 70 percent of 2010 levels. Among other provisions, the bill mandates that no meeting may cost more than $500,000 without a waiver and that agencies cannot send more than 50 employees to an international conference.

  10 surprising social media statistics that will make you rethink your strategy
Fast Company - If you are managing social media for your business, it might be useful to know about some of the most surprising social media statistics this year. Here are 10 that might make you rethink the way you are approaching social media.

  Millennials make hotels rethink loyalty programs
Skift - Hotels cater to elite members of loyalty programs because those members bring in lots of revenue. But even the elite are not overly loyal to a particular brand. With brand loyalty ebbing as the age of the average guest skews younger, winning a hotel booking is becoming an increasingly rough endeavor. That is one of the sobering conclusions hoteliers will have to consider from Hudson Crossing travel industry analyst Henry Harteveldt's Who's Sleeping With You? Detailed Look Into the U.S. Online Hotel Guest.

  The more mobile travelers are, the merrier they are this holiday travel season
Travel Daily News - Smartphone owners have an outlook on this year's holiday travel that is as rosy as Santa's suit, according to a consumer survey from Priceline.com. The survey revealed that mobile-savvy travelers are more optimistic about their ability to handle the headwinds of holiday travel. About 65 percent of smartphone users say they see "clear sailing ahead" during the holiday travel season, which is 5 percent higher than people who do not own a smartphone.

Upcoming Meetings & Events   Upcoming meetings & events
  • Jan. 9 LACVB Meeting, Jennings
  • Jan. 11 Only in Louisiana Event, Baton Rouge
  • Jan. 25 LOT Grammy Event, Los Angeles
  • Feb. 4 - 5 RSAA Summit, Washington, D.C.
  • Feb 5 - 6 RTO Summit West, Marina Del Rey, Calif.
  • Feb 10 - 14 Lt. Governor's Mission to UK and Germany

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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