Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
April 4, 2014
Louisiana tourism delegation calls on Washington, D.C.

Tourism chief Kyle Edmiston and LTPA Co-director Darienne Mobley met with Congressman John Fleming in Washington, D.C. during Destination Capitol Hill hosted by U.S. Travel Association and DMAI. During the event, more than 275 travel advocates discussed reauthorization of Brand USA, enacting smarter visa policies (specifically the JOLT Act), improving the entry experience for visitors and revitalizing U.S. transportation infrastructure.

Darienne Mobley, Congressman John Fleming and Kyle Edmiston Darienne Mobley, Congressman John Fleming and Kyle Edmiston

LTPA Logo   Tickets, sponsorships available for LTPA event featuring Les Miles,
Jay Dardenne

Tickets and a limited number of sponsorships are available for an April 28 Louisiana Travel Promotion Association luncheon headlined by LSU head football coach Les Miles and Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne. The luncheon, which is expected to be attended by many Louisiana legislators, runs from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the downtown Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center. Individual tickets are $100. Sponsorships range from $1,250 to $5,000, and the event's proceeds will benefit LTPA. For details contact Laura Cating at 225.408.4027 or lcating@ltpa.org.

Harolyn Falgoust, tourism sales, Monroe CVB, Doug Bourgeois, director, Byways collection, Louisiana Office of Tourism & Joanne Scalamogna, Canadian representative, Louisiana Office of Tourism
Harolyn Falgoust, tourism sales, Monroe CVB, Doug Bourgeois, director, Byways collection, Louisiana Office of Tourism & Joanne Scalamogna, Canadian representative, Louisiana Office of Tourism
  Monroe/West Monroe focus of Vancouver mission
The offerings of Monroe and West Monroe were the focus of a recent sales mission in Vancouver, British Columbia. Doug Bourgeois of Louisiana Scenic Byways and Harolyn Falgoust of the Monroe-West Monroe CVB met with travel agents and travel media to tout the destination as the home of Duck Dynasty and several sites tied to American aviation heritage. The sister cities are home to the Chennault Aviation and Military Museum, which tells about the region's significance to World War II aviation, and Delta Airlines spawned from what was once a local crop dusting service. Bourgeois and Falgoust also shared information on a Louisiana partnership with National Geographic that will soon launch a website and app promoting travel offerings in Louisiana and other Southern states.

Mardi Gras on the set of Good Morning America
Mardi Gras on the set of Good Morning America
  LOT promotes Mardi Gras on Good Morning America
Good Morning America and the popular national morning show's viewers experienced a sample of Louisiana's Mardi Gras celebration on Fat Tuesday, thanks to a promotional effort by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, anchor Robin Roberts and spokeswomen for three DMOs. Carolyn Cheramie, Arlene Gould and Dona Richard with the tourist commissions in Lafourche, Natchitoches and St. Martin parishes, respectively, danced with the band donning Mardi Gras masks and boas before tossing Pick Your Passion beads and sharing a king cake with the show's hosts. In fitting irony, Roberts, who went to college in Louisiana, got the king cake baby.

National Park Service logo   National park tourism in Louisiana creates $33.7 million in economic benefit
Weekly Citizen - A new National Park Service report shows that 625,913 visitors to national parks properties in Louisiana spent $33.7 million and supported 471 jobs in the state in 2012. "The national parks of Louisiana attract visitors from throughout the country and around the world," Stan Austin, NPS southeast regional director, said. "Of the millions of people drawn to New Orleans and beyond each year, many come specifically to immerse themselves in the rich and diverse history found in the French Quarter, the steamy bayous and the echoing music halls. This new report shows that national park tourism is a significant driver in the national economy—returning $10 for every $1 invested in the National Park Service—and a big factor in our state's economy as well, a result we can all support." The national parks properties in Louisiana are Cane River Creole National Historic Park, Jean Lafitte National Historic Park and Preserve and New Orleans Jazz National Historic Park.

North American Motorcoach Operators logo   Shreveport-Bossier CTB wins bid for motorcoach convention
The Shreveport Times - The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau was chosen over Niagara Falls, N.Y., to host the 2014 National Association of Motorcoach Operators Convention, Aug. 15 - 17 at the Shreveport Convention Center. NAMO is expected to bring 100 visitors to Shreveport-Bossier from throughout the nation. The board members for NAMO ultimately selected Shreveport-Bossier because of its location and Southern hospitality. While in Shreveport-Bossier, NAMO attendees will have the opportunity to tour the city's attractions, visit casinos and restaurants, participate in a golf tournament and meet with representatives to gather more information about bringing motorcoach groups to Shreveport-Bossier.

Brand USA logo   Brand USA's marketing efforts working
Successful Meetings - America's first global consumer brand, Brand USA, is working, according to a new study by Oxford Economics. According to the report, Brand USA's marketing campaigns generated 1.1 million incremental visitors to the U.S. for the year ending Sept. 30, 2013-a 2.3 percent increase above growth that would have occurred without Brand USA marketing. These additional visitors, who were generated through Brand USA efforts, spent $3.4 billion in the U.S. Oxford Economics reports that the $3.4 billion stimulated $7.4 billion in business sales, $3.8 billion in GDP, $2.2 billion in personal income and 53,000 new jobs, resulting in a 47-to-1 return on investment for Brand USA's marketing expenses of $72 million. Oxford Economics' full report, The Return on Investment of Brand USA Marketing: 2013 Fiscal Year Analysis, is available at www.thebrandusa.com.

Acadiana Historical App   Acadiana historical app
The Acadiana Historical app is an initiative of the public history program at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette aimed at telling the stories that define the region's unique culture and history. While south Louisiana is recognized in part for its French Acadian/Cajun heritage, this project seeks to bring a comprehensive view of the region's diverse history to a broad public audience through an engaging geographical interface. This app is available for both Android and iOS devices. It allows the user to engage with stories and tours in mobile settings. For more information or to participate contact Dr. Robert Carriker, department head and director of public history studies at ULL, at 337.482.6900 or carriker@louisiana.edu.

  Mississippi officials lobbying for more tourism funds
Natchez Democrat - With less money than any state in the South to promote tourism, officials say Mississippi and cities such as Natchez are getting lost in the crowd. Mississippi Tourism Association President Lyn Fortenbery of Natchez said the tourism industry is hopeful that will change this year. MTA has been lobbying for support of a $15 million appropriation for the Mississippi Development Authority's Tourism Division. The appropriation would increase the state's tourism budget of a little more than $6 million by nearly $9 million, Malcolm White, director of MDA's Tourism Division, said. Alabama's tourism budget is $18.3 million and is in a unique position because Raycom Media is owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama. The state receives about $15 million of in-kind advertising from Raycom. Tennessee's budget is $28.6 million, and Gov. Bill Haslam has requested an additional $6 million to increase tourism funding for Tennessee in the next fiscal year. Louisiana's tourism budget is $24.4 million. Arkansas' budget is a little more than $12 million, but also includes the state's park system.

Southeast Tourism Society logo   STS Top 20 Events for Oct. - Dec.
Southeast Tourism Society chooses the Top 20 Events for each month and publishes its list of winners quarterly. Nominations are accepted from STS members and non-member organizations; submissions are accepted from individuals, attendees and/or event organizers. Top 20 Events strongly encourages entrants to support their nominations by providing supporting material such as photos, posters, brochures, press releases, news clippings and/or volunteer programs. Nominated events must have an attendance of at least 1,000 and be in the third year of existence. There is a $20 entry fee required per event. The deadline to nominate events that occur in October, November or December 2014 is Friday, April 4.

Independence Bowl logo   Duck Commander Independence Bowl to have major economic impact on north La.
KTBS-TV - The Duck Dynasty Robinson family company, Duck Commander, will be the new title sponsor of the Independence Bowl. Officials say the success of the Duck Commander brand will attract more visitors to the Arklatex area for the big game at Independence Stadium. "Very seldom do you have a title sponsor that generates its own media. So this is tremendous to raise awareness of the bowl itself as well as our community," Stacy Brown with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau said. Bossier City Mayor Lo Walker agrees. "It's going to bring all types of people to the events surrounding the Bowl and the Bowl itself so I think it's a giant leap forward as far as the economic incentive for the region." Duck Commander's sponsorship will run through 2019.

The Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy report   Updated economic impact numbers: Good news for meetings industry
Meetings Net - The Convention Industry Council has released its new Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy report, an update to a 2009 study which had been conducted during the depths of the economic recession. The new figures show significant increases in meeting participants, tax contribution and job growth from 2009 to 2012. During the 2012 calendar year, 1.83 million meetings were held in the U.S., attended by 225 million participants-a 10 percent increase in attendees since 2009. Those events provided more than $115 billion in contribution to GDP and employed nearly 1.8 million people. "That translates to 8.3 percent more jobs created by meetings in 2012 than in 2009, nearly double the average employment growth rate during that time," Karen Kotowski, chief executive of the CIC, said. "Meetings increased employment at a time when many industries did not have the same opportunity."

Faith Travel Association logo   Faith Travel Association announced
In response to the explosive growth of the faith-based travel industry, NTA Services Inc., parent company of the National Tour Association, has created the Faith Travel Association. The membership trade organization will serve as a business-building resource for travel professionals, sites and organizations focused on faith-based travel. FTA will also provide connections, education and support for group leaders, religious leaders and travel agents who are planning trips for individuals or groups brought together by their faith or religious community. Each year more than 300 million people of faith embark on trips around the world, pumping $18 billion into the tourism economy. Some 50,000 churches and worship centers in the U.S. have travel programs, and FTA can facilitate connecting them with qualified travel professionals. The marketplace includes colleges, nonprofit organizations, NGOs and leaders, authors and speakers with faith-based missions or messages.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker
  Pritzker promises U.S. push to boost foreign tourism
POLITICO - U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, whose family owns the Hyatt hotel chain, recently touted White House efforts to attract more tourists to the U.S. "I was pleased that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough singled out this industry as a second-term priority when he stopped by the Commerce Department's board meeting last month," Pritzker said in a speech to the U.S. Travel Association.

Airline jets parked at airport gates   Airlines may fly more this spring than in six years
USA Today - Travelers can expect U.S. airlines' planes to be full this spring as a record number of people take international flights, the industry association Airlines for America predicts. In its annual spring forecast, the trade group estimates that 129.5 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines in March and April, including a record 17.1 million on international flights.

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.

Facebook Twitter Flikr YouTube Flikr