Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
June 9, 2014
Lt. Gov. travels the state celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne made 14 stops at local National Tourism Week events such as awards luncheons, receptions and news conferences in cities throughout the state including Monroe, Ruston, Minden, Shreveport, Many, Leesville, Mansura, St. Francisville, Hammond, Avondale, Breaux Bridge, Abbeville, Avery Island and Vacherie. The tour's purpose was to create awareness about the tourism industry and the positive impact it has on the state's economy.

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne

Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit 2014   Lt. Gov.'s Tourism Summit
The Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit is the state's top industry educational event and an exceptional way to network, share ideas with your peers in the industry and gain insight from nationally acclaimed speakers. This year's summit will be Aug. 26 - 28 at the Pontchartrain Center in Jefferson Parish. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne will deliver his state of the tourism industry address and will unveil the campaign for 2015's focus on Louisiana food. The new advertising campaign will focus on the diverse, unique and delectable foods that Louisiana has to offer and how food connects to our celebrations, gatherings and way of life. Early registration ends Aug. 12.

LTPA Membership Meeting June 18   LTPA Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon
LTPA and the north Louisiana tourism industry will host LTPA's Annual Membership Meeting and Luncheon at the beautiful Squire Creek Country Club in Choudrant (near Ruston) on Wednesday, June 18. Join Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and LTPA Co-Directors Jill Kidder and Darienne Mobley for an update on the tourism industry throughout the state. Registration and networking begin at 11:30 a.m. with the meeting and luncheon following at noon. Tickets are $60 per person or $400 for a table of eight. Early registration ends June 13.

Garden & Gun buy-in opportunity   Garden & Gun buy-in opportunity
The Office of Tourism has only two spots left for the 2014 Garden & Gun insert program. The availability is in the magazine's Sporting South issue (December/January), which will reach about 1.1 million readers. Louisiana CVBs can purchase a one-fourth page, four-color ad for $4,250. Garden & Gun's least expensive advertising rate is $9,305 for a one-third page ad. All CVBs that participate in the program will receive one invitation to the Louisiana Garden & Gun event held in October. The deadline to sign up for this partnering opportunity is Friday, June 27. If interested, contact Misty Shaw or call 225.219.9858.

Amanda Quimby
Amanda Quimby
  Amanda Quimby selected as STS Marketing College scholarship recipient
Louisiana Travel Promotion Association and Miles Marketing Destinations selected Amanda Quimby, marketing director for the Ruston Lincoln Parish CVB, to receive their scholarship to the 2014 STS Marketing College at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Ga., Aug. 3 – 8. The STS Marketing College is a three-year educational program for members of the tourism industry in the Southeast U.S. A broad-based curriculum of courses designed to teach marketing techniques from all facets of the tourism industry is offered. Students who attend all three years of Marketing College receive a Travel Marketing Professional certification.

  New Orleans garners multiple James Beard Foundation awards
WVUE Fox 8 - Five New Orleans chefs and restaurants were among the most recent recipients of James Beard Foundation awards, the U.S. culinary equivalent of The Oscars. Pêche Seafood Grill in New Orleans won Best New Restaurant in the U.S. Pêche chef Ryan Prewitt and Sue Zemanick of Gautreau's in New Orleans were co-winners of the South Regional Chef Award. Ashley Hansen took a James Beard America's Classics award for Hansen's Sno-Bliz, and Jon Besh was inducted into the James Beard Foundation Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America.

Summer air travel   Summer air travel predicted to reach 6-year high
USA Today - After a harsh winter, Americans are determined to pack their bags and travel this summer, even though they will have to pay a little bit more if they choose to fly. Airlines for America, the trade group for most of the major carriers in the U.S., predicts roughly 210 million fliers will take to the skies on U.S. airlines this summer, the most in six years. Job growth, growing personal income and slower-rising airfares are all helping boost the demand for air travel, A4A officials said.

leisure travelers   Research finds U.S. leisure travelers leaving recession behind
Hospitality Net - Americans are finally coming out of their great recession hibernation and spending on travel again, according to U.S. Consumer Travel Report Sixth Edition by travel industry research authority PhoCusWright. The percent of U.S. adults 18 and over who traveled for leisure jumped four percentage points in 2013. Sixty-five percent of consumers took at least one leisure trip in 2013, compared to 63 percent in 2010, 62 percent in 2011 and 61 percent in 2012. In the pre-recession year of 2008, 70 percent of consumers took leisure trips.

Big data is transforming the travel industry   Big data is transforming the travel industry
Forbes - If there was ever an area of the economy primed for the use of big data, it is the travel industry. Airlines, hotels, cruise companies, travel management, railways and travel agencies have an opportunity to improve their businesses and the customer experiences by effectively handling the big data at their fingertips. That is not to say it is easy to collect, identify and analyze all of the bits of disparate data types that comprise big data. But the alternative-ignoring that data-is not an option for any travel-focused business that wants to remain competitive. Three ways in which big data is impacting the travel industry include personalized customer experiences, insight into customers' wants and competitive differentiation.

  Bringing travel planning back to the destination
Tnooz - Verified review summaries are key to getting travel planning and booking back on DMO and hotel sites. Why? Review sites are the number one influencer of traveler decisions, and as many as 69 percent of travelers say so, according to a 2013 TripAdvisor TripBarometer. In order for hotels and DMOs to continue to be relevant in the planning process, embracing travel reviews is essential, and in order to bring travelers back, destinations must do travel reviews differently.

passports   Travel industry applauds bill to ease U.S. entry
Travel Market Report - Travel industry groups hailed the introduction of a bill to boost inbound travel to the U.S. by making it easier for international visitors to enter the country. The INVITE Act, introduced last week by Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and Tim Scott, R-S.C., would expand the Global Entry program at U.S. airports and take other steps to speed up the entry process for international visitors. The U.S. Travel Association, ASTA and NTA have all backed the INVITE Act, and officials said they are encouraged that the bill's sponsors are bipartisan, making it likely to attract bipartisan support in Congress.

smart phones   Could better prices fuel the mobile travel booking boom?
eMarketer - As online bookings become the norm, the travel industry is focusing on the next channel-mobile. eMarketer estimates that mobile travel bookings are beginning to boom, with U.S. mobile travel sales, including travel purchases on both tablets and smartphones, expected to increase this year to reach $26.14 billion.

Hotel occupancy rates recover   U.S. hotel occupancy rate to recover to pre-recession levels in 2014
Meeting and Conventions - According to the recently released March 2014 edition of PKF Hospitality Research's Hotel Horizons forecast report, the U.S. hotel occupancy rate will finally recover to pre-recession levels in 2014. While supply growth is limited on a national level, it should be noted that some markets throughout the U.S. are seeing meaningful increases in new competition. The greatest development activity is occurring in the select-service, boutique and extended-stay brands that are not only popular with developers and lenders, but consumers as well.

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