Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
February 14, 2014
Two grant program applications now available

FY 2015 Competitive Grant Program
The mission of the Louisiana Office of Tourism's Competitive Grant Program is to encourage and support marketing of tourism events that will attract and retain visitors to the state and positively impact Louisiana's tourism industry. Applications are due Friday, March 14, 2014.

FY 2015 Cooperative Marketing Program
The mission of the Cooperative Marketing Program is to encourage and support Louisiana DMOs to advertise their local tourism products or opportunities. Any Louisiana-based DMO whose media efforts are designed to promote the tourism resources of Louisiana are eligible to apply for the CMP. Applications are due Monday, April 14, 2014.

  Spring marketing campaign buy-ins now accepted
DMOs can buy in to the Louisiana Office of Tourism's 2014 Spring Campaign. It will run March 3 - April 27 on cable/broadcast and digital media in the Austin, Birmingham, Chicago, Denver, Memphis, Atlanta, Dallas and Houston markets. Partners can select participation levels by media and market. The deadline to enroll is Monday, Feb. 17. For more information email Misty Shaw mshaw@crt.la.gov or call 225.219.9858.


Cafe Des Amis
Dining and Catering
  Seeking What's New in Louisiana Spring 2014 submissions
The Office of Tourism is updating What's New in Louisiana. Send information on new attractions, tours, trails, restaurants, overnight providers, online tools, apps, major infrastructure affecting visitors and anything else relevant to tourism in your area. The asset does not have to be new-it can be improved, expanded or renovated. To submit an asset, email Jeff Richard jrichard@crt.la.gov by Friday, Feb. 21. Include the name of the asset, a brief description (three - four paragraphs), physical address, primary contact person and contact information including a website and email address.

  Seeking updates for LOT list of destination accolades
In preparation for April's IPW travel trade show in Chicago, the Office of Tourism is updating the list of accolades, awards and acknowledgements received by Louisiana destinations in 2013. Examples can be awards at the state, national or international level and can include making Best of and other top travel segment lists in national and foreign media reports. Information on accolades and awards received in 2013 can be submitted to Jeff Richard jrichard@crt.la.gov. The deadline is Friday, Feb. 21.

Magan Adams (Jefferson Parish CVB), Megan Ryburn (NO Plantation Country), and Tracy Francis (Visit Baton Rouge) at CTIS graduation
  Four from Louisiana earn CTIS certification
Three Louisiana DMO employees and a noted New Orleans restaurant's sales manager recently earned Certified Travel Industry Specialist (CTIS) certification at the American Bus Association's annual Marketplace trade show in Nashville. Magan Adams of the Jefferson Parish CVB, Tracy Francis of Visit Baton Rouge, Megan Ryburn of New Orleans Plantation Country and Shannon Hamm of Bubba Gump Shrimp Company were the only Louisiana travel professionals to earn certification this year. The CTIS degree program is a partnership between ABA and Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis that uses correspondence courses to give enrollees practical business and tourism industry-specific knowledge with special emphasis on the motor coach and group tour sectors.

  STS Spring Symposium
Join the Southeast Tourism Society when it partners with the Southeast Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association for the Spring Symposium, March 23 - 26, in Lexington, Ky. The Spring Symposium is the perfect opportunity to connect with colleagues for quality education, development, networking and expanding knowledge in all areas of tourism.

  Understanding the State of the American Traveler Webinar
The State of the American Traveler is a leading industry research report that monitors the travel intentions, behavior and media use of U.S. leisure travelers. Join Southeast Tourism Society, Miles and research company Destination Analysts as they reveal highlights of the January 2014 report. The free webinar is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Feb. 27.

  Tax-Free Shopping offering discount to new retail members
New Orleans CityBusiness - In recognition of the program's 25th anniversary this year, Louisiana Tax-Free Shopping is discounting membership from $100 to $25. The program provides foreign visitors rebates on sales taxes tied to traditional retail sales. Visitors receive rebates at redemption centers statewide before departing from Louisiana. Retailers who wish to join the program at the discounted rate can contact Tax-Free Shopping at 504.484.4739 or visit the member information section of the website. The program was the only of its kind when started in 1989 and remains one of only two in existence in the U.S. Since the program's inception, more than 800,000 international customers have recorded more than $600 million in tax-free retail transactions in Louisiana.

Lake Charles Regional Airport

Lafayette Regional Airport

  Lake Charles, Lafayette airports show solid 2013 gains
Both Lake Charles and Lafayette have compiled airport statistics for 2013, and both facilities noted significantly increased usage last year. The number of departing and arriving passengers at Lake Charles Regional Airport increased 14 percent in 2013. The passenger total last year was 127,083, an increase from the 112,055 recorded in 2012. Similar gains were noted at Lafayette's airport, where what started as a slow 2013 ended in a fourth consecutive year of growth. The total number of 2013 passengers was 471,332, about a 13 percent increase from the prior year.

Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
Shreveport Municipal Auditorium
  Municipal Auditorium included in MSN.com gallery of notable worldwide music destinations
MSN.com's U.K. site recently included Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium in a photo gallery of worldwide notable sites tied to modern popular music. The venue's ties to Elvis Presley and the launch of his career via radio broadcasts of the Shreveport-based Louisiana Hayride concert series was the catalyst for the hall's inclusion. Author Tamara Hinson also mentioned the auditorium as the site for shows by James Brown and Aretha Franklin. Featured sites in the photo gallery ranged from other historic performance venues to homes tied to John Lennon and the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Lenny Kravitz and Kurt Cobain.

  Three Louisiana cities profiled in Tampa Tribune
The Tampa Tribune featured a piece on indigenous Louisiana cuisine, swamp tours and other attractions and upscale overnight providers in Morgan City, Houma, New Orleans and surrounding areas. Seeking "Old South ambiance with a culinary pig-out" during their Louisiana adventure, authors Doug and Kelly S. Kelly said, "the Pelican State distinguishes itself with counties that are called parishes; band music that consists of fiddles, accordions and washboards; natives who speak with a drawl that seems to exclude vowels; and food that is a gastric Gatling gun of Creole and Cajun flavors."

New Orleans
  PlanAdvisor.com: New Orleans among top U.S. affordable winter getaways
The Big Easy was one of the top 15 winter getaway U.S. cities for the budget-minded traveler in a list recently published at PlanAdvisor.com. Author Jill Cornfield praised New Orleans for its food, historic cemeteries and live music offerings found at often-free music festivals. Most of the cities listed were warm weather destinations but areas such as Minneapolis/St. Paul and Portland, Maine, made the cut due to seasonal discounts and quality indoor attractions.

  Travel continues to be job creation leader
Travel Weekly - The travel and hospitality industries (including restaurants) have made up 99 percent of the jobs lost during the recession of 2008-09, compared to 86 percent for the rest on the economy, according to U.S. Travel Association. David Huether, U.S. Travel's senior vice president for research, said that 11,000 travel jobs were added in December and accounted for 15 percent of the country's employment gains last month. The travel industry added more jobs in 2013 (119,000) than in 2012 (97,000), while the economy overall created fewer new jobs in the past 12 months overall.

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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