Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
May 15, 2014
Lt. Gov. Dardenne announces record-setting 2013 for La. tourism

The Advocate - Louisiana hit an all-time record for tourism in 2013-a million more visitors than last year's record-setting numbers. Lt. Governor Jay DardenneLt. Governor Jay Dardenne recently announced that the state received 27.3 million visitors last year, a four percent increase over 2012. Travelers spent $10.8 billion in Louisiana and generated more than $800 million in state taxes. "It is validation of what we have been saying. Tourism is big business in Louisiana," Lt. Governor Dardenne said. And it means jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 210,000 tourism-related jobs last year. "There is no question it is a major employer for the state," Lt. Governor Dardenne said.

Kyle Edmiston
Kyle Edmiston
  Edmiston to serve on DMAI's Destination & Travel Foundation board
Association News - Kyle Edmiston, Louisiana tourism chief, was recently selected to serve on DMAI's Destination & Travel Foundation board of trustees. The foundation board slate will be ratified in July during DMAI's 100th Annual Convention in Las Vegas. Edmiston will serve a three year term, ending in 2017. The foundation's mission is to enhance the destination marketing and travel professions through research, education and development of resources and partnerships for those efforts.

b-roll catalog at LOT   LOT seeking b-roll sources
The Office of Tourism's Communications and Research Section is compiling a master list of Louisiana DMOs with b-roll video for use by broadcast media. Agencies with b-roll can email Jeff Richard jrichard@crt.la.gov with an overview of what they have on file-subject, duration of video, available formats, source, credits and any costs associated with media usage. LOT will not collect footage. Rather, the content will be cataloged so inquiring media can be directed to the appropriate agency when looking for particular footage. The deadline to submit information is May 23.

Electronic Media Kits   LOT seeking DMO electronic media kits
LOT's Communications and Research Section is seeking prepared electronic general media assistance kits from DMOs that can be distributed to applicable travel media inquiries. Kits must be electronic, and each should include at least a brief destination profile and contact information for the DMO's spokesman. High-resolution photography with cutlines is recommended. Media kits can be emailed to Jeff Richard jrichard@crt.la.gov or mailed on USB flash drive to 1051 N. Third St., Baton Rouge, LA 70802.

Boom or Bust Byway   Boom or Bust Byway named Southern Travel Treasure
Boom or Bust Byway was named a Southern Travel Treasure by AAA Southern Traveler. The Byway was selected for its appeal to typical AAA members and was featured in the May/June 2014 issue of the magazine. AAA Southern Traveler's popular Travel Treasures series is part of each bimonthly issue.

New Orleans Food Truck targets Texas metro areas   New Orleans tourism deploying food truck to entice visitors
New Orleans tourism promoters are boarding the food truck bandwagon for a new twist in their marketing effort to travelers. They will deploy a truck wrapped in imagery from the Follow Your NOLA marketing campaign to three target cities in Texas: Austin, Dallas and Houston.

International Visitors

  Twenty countries that sent most tourists to U.S. in 2013
Skift - Much is said about the Chinese and Brazilian visitors who are driving growth of the U.S. tourism industry, but data from the International Trade Administration's Office of Travel & Tourism Industries shows that Taiwan and Colombia actually had the greatest increase in visitors to the U.S. in 2013. While visitors from the two countries represent less than two percent of the 69.8 million foreigners who traveled to the U.S. last year, their headcounts increased 33 percent and 24 percent respectively over 2012.

Family travel rises in 2014   Family trips on rise
Hotel News Resource - Family travel is on the rise in 2014, according to TripAdvisor's family travel survey of more than 2,700 U.S. respondents. The survey reported 92 percent plan to travel with family this year, up from 85 percent who did so last year. Of those taking family trips, 55 percent will travel with their spouse and children, and 20 percent will travel with extended family. When asked the types of accommodations they plan to stay at for their family trips, the majority of respondents (71 percent) plan to stay at a hotel, 41 percent at a vacation rental and 20 percent will stay at the home of family or friends. Freebies and location top the amenities wish list for family travelers at hotels.

Brand USA logo   Congress draft bills to continue Brand USA funding
Travel Weekly - The Travel Promotion Enhancement and Modernization Act, introduced in the U.S. House, and a companion bill introduced in the Senate are part of a bipartisan effort to reauthorize funding through 2020 for Brand USA, the public-private organization that promotes travel to the U.S. The bills have been introduced because funding reauthorization for Brand USA is included in an immigration bill that is stalled in the House. Without reauthorization, Brand USA's funding would cease in September 2015. Created by the Travel Promotion Act of 2009, Brand USA is funded by a fee levied on visitors coming to the U.S. from countries participating in the Visa Waiver program, and by matching contributions from the private sector. Louisiana's partnership with Brand USA has significantly enhanced the state's advertising and marketing activities in proven international tourism markets while extending similar activities into emerging foreign travel markets such as Latin American and Asia. Louisiana is also prominently featured at DiscoverAmerica.com, Brand USA's primary online consumer tool.

Exhibitions Day June 16-17 - Washington D.C.   Meetings industry plans inaugural Exhibitions Day on Capitol Hill
Successful Meetings - The International Association of Exhibitions and Events announced that a coalition of industry organizations will host the first Exhibitions Day, June 16 - 17 in Washington, D.C., to educate lawmakers on the merits of meetings and events, in particular trade shows and exhibitions. Along with IAEE, partners include the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, the Exhibit Designers and Producers Association, the Exhibition Services & Contractors Association, the International Association of Venue Managers and the U.S. Travel Association. On Exhibitions Day, industry leaders will meet with media and legislators to promote the value of meetings. Specifically, they will focus on three issues: the JOLT Act, the Visa Waiver Program and government employee participation. To learn how to participate, click here.

Business travel in the USA   Research reveals impact of business travel on US economy and jobs
TravelDailyNews - According to a report issued by the Global Business Travel Association Foundation, business travel was responsible for about 3 percent of U.S. GDP in 2012 ($491 billion), supported 7.1 million jobs and generated $118 billion in federal, state and local taxes. For every 1 percent increase in business travel spending, the U.S. economy gains 71,000 jobs, nearly $5 billion in GDP, $3 billion in wages and $1.2 billion in tax collections. The impact study also found that in 2012 the nation's businesses spent $384 billion to send travelers out on the road on 452 million business trips.

Business travel spending uptick to rise quicker   Business travel spending predicted to rebound
USA Today - Rising corporate profits and steady job growth will lead to a greater uptick in spending on business trips than expected, according to Global Business Travel Association, which revised its 2014 forecast. The GBTA forecasts spending on business travel by U.S. companies to jump 7.1 percent this year to $293.3 billion, rather than the 6.6 percent uptick it predicted in an earlier forecast.

Google & book hotel rooms   Google checks in to the hotel business
The Wall Street Journal - Google is moving boldly to play a larger role in booking hotel rooms, while risking offending some of its most important advertisers. Google is adding more photos and reviews to its hotel listings, so they increasingly resemble those of travel search sites such as Priceline, Expedia and TripAdvisor. It is more aggressively promoting its hotel-price ads that post room rates directly as travel search sites do. The idea is to encourage travelers to plan more of their trips directly on Google. In the process Google gets them closer to making a booking, which experts expect will make referrals more valuable, prompting travel agencies and hotel operators to pay more for clicks on Google ads over time. It also encourages more hotel operators to place ads on Google directly, bypassing online travel agencies that charge commissions of up to 25 percent.

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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