Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
February 28, 2014
Lt. Governor's Mission to Germany and UK

Earlier this month Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne led the largest Louisiana tourism delegation in 20 years to Germany and the United Kingdom-two of Louisiana's top markets for international visitors-to promote Louisiana to tour operators, media and travel agents. The delegation included 10 CVB partners. It also fulfilled a promise Lt. Governor Dardenne made at the beginning of his term to visit each of Louisiana's four major international marketing partners. He led a delegation to France in October 2012 and has visited Canada several times.

While Lt. Governor Dardenne was busy with media interviews during the day, Louisiana partners split into teams and met with product managers and sales teams from the top German and U.K. tour operators in Frankfurt, Cologne, Duesseldorf, Wiesbaden and London that specialize in travel to North America. The Louisiana delegation reunited each evening to host functions.
The above photo represents one of the four evening events for tour operators, media and retail travel agents. Pictured in the middle are Lt. Governor Dardenne, Cathy Dardenne and Assistant Secretary of Tourism Kyle Edmiston. Lying in front is renowned German TV chef Mirko Reeh, who has studied Louisiana cooking and teaches Louisiana cooking classes at his school in Frankfurt. Pictured on the left and right are contracted sales representatives from Germany. Fourth from right is Beate Hall, product manager for North America for Meier's Weltreisen/DERtour, the market leader for German visitation to the U.S. Also pictured are the executive directors and salespersons for the following CVBs: Webster Parish, Alexandria/Pineville, Lake Charles, Lafayette, Baton Rouge, West Feliciana, Houma, New Orleans Plantation Country, St. Tammany and New Orleans.

  Call for Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial events
Plans are developing to commemorate Jan. 8, 2015, the 200th anniversary of The Battle of New Orleans, beginning this fall. The Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Commission, which is housed within the Office of the Lt. Governor, will mark the commemoration with educational and historical programs and celebratory events. The main battle was fought on the Chalmette Battlefield in what is now St. Bernard Parish. Events and programming will take place mainly in New Orleans and St. Bernard Parish. A calendar of events will be posted on the Battle of New Orleans website. If your organization is planning to mark this commemoration and would like to have your event listed on the calendar, contact Julie Vezinot at jvezinot@crt.la.gov or 225.342.7009.

The Louisiana 24-person delegation included the state delegates: Kyle Edmiston, LeAnne Weill, Misty Shaw and Mary Williams.   Travel South breakfast
Louisiana hosted a successful breakfast at the Travel South Showcase in Charleston, W. Va., Feb. 23 – 26. Assistant Secretary of Tourism Kyle Edmiston delivered the keynote address at the Mardi Gras-themed breakfast and entertained the audience with his Only in Louisiana presentation, which included Louisiana's history and tourism products. During the showcase LOT representatives met with more than 50 media and tour operators, while Louisiana tourism partners also worked to increase visitation to the state.

  Two grant program applications now available

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

FY 2015 Cooperative Marketing Program
The mission of the Cooperative Marketing Program is to encourage 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 is eligible to apply for the CMP. Applications are due Monday, April 14.


Cruise ship docked
in New Orleans
  New Orleans' cruise passenger count edges upward
New Orleans CityBusiness - The number of cruise passengers sailing out of the Port of New Orleans leveled out in 2013 after seeing a 32 percent spike in 2012 when cruise lines increased the size of ships they based in the city. New Orleans still managed more than a 1 percent increase in passengers in 2013, according to figures from the Port. The Port's cruise terminals reached capacity last year after Carnival started docking a second ship, the Elation. There are now four cruise ships with a total capacity of 9,910 passengers that are home-ported in New Orleans: Norwegian Cruise Line's 2,376-passenger Jewel; Royal Caribbean's 2,476-passenger Serenade of the Seas; Carnival's 3,006-passenger Sunshine and 2,052-passenger Elation

Magnolia blossom, State Capitol Gardens, Baton Rouge
  Baton Rouge featured in The New York Times
The New York Times profiled Baton Rouge's mix of traditional institutions and emerging stars in local food, music and the arts in a story titled "36 Hours." Author Jennifer Zdon praised city mainstays like Tony's Seafood, Fleur de Lis Pizza, the Red Dragon Listening Room, Teddy's Juke Joint and the Shaw Center for the Arts. Zdon also mentioned Baton Rouge's Mardi Gras celebrations. Citing the city's mix of downtown revitalization and retail development, Zdon said, "This unheralded city reveals a dynamic musical heritage and rich culinary history that demand to be discovered."

  Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport gains nonstop flight to Seattle
The Times-Picayune - Airport officials announced Feb. 11 that Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport will add a nonstop flight to Seattle beginning this summer. Alaska Airlines agreed to start the route June 12. It is the sixth new airline and 11th new destination the airport has added in four years. The daily service, flown on a 737-800 aircraft, which holds about 150 passengers, will include one incoming flight in the morning and one departing flight in the evening.

Trusted Traveler program   North American leaders agree on 'trusted traveler' program
USA Today - North American leaders agreed Wednesday to create a continental "trusted traveler" program that will allow vetted individuals to cross borders quickly. The program is part of an attempt at deepening commercial and cultural exchanges 20 years after the North American Free Trade Agreement was signed.

  Tour sales top '07 – '08 record
Travel Weekly - It has taken longer than they had hoped or even imagined, but tour operators report that in 2014 they are finally on track to break the record passenger loads of 2007 and 2008, the benchmark years before the recession hijacked growth. "We're [more than] 15 percent up over this time last year across all brands and destinations," Steve Born, vice president of marketing for the Globus Family of Brands, said. "That mark will officially trump our 2007 year... We're officially back. I would have probably predicted in 2008 it would have happened more quickly."

Meetings said to contribute $130 billion to US travel industry   Meetings said to contribute $130 billion to US travel industry
Travel Weekly - Meetings hosted by businesses, associations, nonprofits and governments contribute $130.2 billion to the U.S. domestic travel industry, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) reported. Hotels in 2012 generated $39.3 billion in revenue from meetings attendees, while food-and-beverage operators generated $29.8 billion. Airlines generated $23.8 billion in revenue from meetings attendees that year. An additional $150.2 billion is generated via meeting planners, production, venue rentals and other non-tourism services.

  US/international air passenger traffic a record 185.4 million in 2013
eTN - International air traffic to/from the U.S. totaled 185.4 million passengers in 2013, a 4 percent increase over 2012. U.S. citizen travel (81.0 million) increased almost 4 percent and composed 44 percent of all air traffic. Non-U.S. citizen air travelers (104.4 million) increased by 5 percent with their market share at 56 percent. U.S. airlines carried 98.4 million passengers, up 3 percent, with their share at 53 percent, down from 2012. Foreign flags carried 86.9 million passengers, up 6 percent from 2012.

  Guests read 6-12 reviews before booking
Ehotelier.com - TripAdvisor has announced the results of an independent study that underscores how essential online traveler reviews are in the trip research and booking process. The commissioned report, with a total of 12,225 respondents from around the world, was conducted by PhoCusWright at the end of 2013. It reveals that more than half of global respondents do not want to make a booking commitment until they read reviews and find out what other travelers thought about the property.

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  Travel industry racing to catch up with travelers' mobile habits
Business Insider - Travel is one of the world's largest industries, and it continues to get bigger and bigger. The Internet had a huge impact on the travel industry early on, as consumers swarmed to online travel agencies to find the best prices on flights and hotels, and took to online travel guides to plan their trips in advance. In 2012 online U.S. travel sales surpassed $100 billion, according to comScore.

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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