Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
August 8, 2014
New Orleans to Host IPW 2016

The Times-Picayune - The U.S. Travel Association announced that New Orleans will be the venue for IPW 2016-the first time the blockbuster travel industry event has returned to the Crescent City since 2002. New Orleans also previously hosted the annual five-day event in 1993 and 1979. It will be great timing for promotion of New Orleans' tricentennial in 2018.

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Top 5 U.S. Happiest Cities are in Louisiana   Study: Louisiana has happiest cities in U.S.
The Wall Street Journal named five Louisiana cities as the happiest places in the U.S. A Harvard professor put the list together based on nationwide research. Lafayette is the happiest city in the U.S. Houma comes in second, followed by Shreveport in third, Baton Rouge in fourth and Alexandria in fifth. Lake Charles ranked eighth, while Monroe made the top 20.

  Pick Your Passion vests available for trade show delegates
Purple fleece vests with the Louisiana: Pick Your Passion logo are available for DMO delegates who will attend upcoming major trade shows. Vests are $30 for an unfitted unisex design and $45 for a woman's fitted design. They will be worn by Louisiana delegates at this year's Travel South International show in New Orleans as well as at NTA Travel Exchange in New Orleans and Travel South Showcase in Shreveport in 2015. Orders can be submitted using the downloadable form. Additional order forms will be available at the Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit in Kenner later this month. To submit forms or for more details contact Mary Williams or call 225.342.8207.

  Louisiana specialty festivals attract out-of-state visitors
The Times (Shreveport) ran a story about the economic and cultural impacts Louisiana festivals make in host communities, which was picked up by the Associated Press and published in multiple media outlets including The Washington Times, The Miami Herald, The Indianapolis Star and Skift.com. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne, other Louisiana tourism officials and festival spokesmen touted the ongoing success of events such as Shreveport's Mudbug Madness and Let the Good Times Roll Festival and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. The article also delved into film industry festivals and Louisiana's continued growth as a destination for major film productions.

Louisiana Gaming Employment   Louisiana ranks 4th for gaming employment in U.S.
Louisiana's growing gaming industry boosted the state's ranking to fourth for casino employment behind Nevada, New Jersey and Mississippi in 2013. The state's 19 commercial casinos employed 15,706 permanent workers, paying them $603 million in wages, benefits and tips for 2013, according to figures released by the American Gaming Association. The gaming sector was a major driver of the state's economy last year, according to the state workforce commission. For the year ending in June 2014, "the leisure and hospitality sector had one of the fastest growths throughout the year," Tom Guarisco, Louisiana Workforce Commission spokesman, said. The leisure and hospitality industry added 7,200 jobs between June 2013 and June 2014, second to the professional and business services sector. Louisiana generated $587 million in tax revenue in 2013.

JetWings July 2014 article   Louisiana featured in prominent India in-flight magazine
Areas and attractions around Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles and along River Road were featured in the July issue of JetWings-a prominent in-flight magazine in India. Journalist Rishad Mehta of New Delhi conducted field research in Louisiana earlier in the year, and the trip produced five full-color pages in the magazine. The magazine, which carries an estimated readership of 600,000, was voted one of the world's top three in-flight magazines in 2006, only behind those published by United and KLM.

  LOT lauches database of promotional materials in foreign languages
The Office of Tourism has assembled a library of foreign language brochures and other promotional materials that can be used to assemble customized packages for international inquiries. The database includes materials in French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Japanese and Mandarin. DMOs and attractions can both submit materials to and request materials from the database by contacting Mike Prejean.

Travel+Leisure World's Best Awards   Travel + Leisure ranks New Orleans in 2014 top 10 world cities
The Times-Picayune - Travel + Leisure named New Orleans one of the world's top 10 cities to visit, adding to a long procession of tourism accolades the city has collected in recent years. The only other U.S. city on the list was Charleston, S.C. Travel + Leisure readers voted on their favorite cities, hotels, cruises and islands. The Windsor Court Hotel was listed among the top large city hotels in the continental U.S. Hotels are judged based on their rooms, location, service, food and value.

Flyway Byway   55-mile Flyway Byway is Jeff Davis Parish's newest attraction
State and Jefferson Davis Parish officials recently unveiled the parish's newest tourist attraction-a 55-mile scenic byway linking outdoor activities in and between Jennings, Welsh, Lake Arthur, Roanoke and Thornwell. The Flyway Byway includes designated bike paths, canoe and paddling trails and sites for bird and wildlife watching among the parish's unique terrain. Tourism officials plan to install byway signage by the end of the year along four state highways and U.S. Hwy. 90. Discussion with the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development is underway regarding the creation of designated safety paths for bikes and pull-over points for vehicles. The Flyway Byway is one of 17 of its type statewide that are in various phases of development.

Carnival Elation   Carnival Cruise Lines signs 5-year extension with Port of New Orleans
The Times-Picayune - At least two Carnival Cruise Lines ships will continue sailing out of the Port of New Orleans year-round through 2019, according to a new five-year contract extension between the two entities. The new agreement, which went into effect on July 1, supersedes a three-year extension negotiated in 2013. In addition to the five-year guarantee, the agreement comes with three one-year options that could keep Carnival operating out of the port through 2022. New Orleans serves as the home port for two Carnival ships-the 3,646-passenger Carnival Dream and the 2,052-passenger Carnival Elation, both of which dock at the port's Erato Street Cruise Terminal. Together, the two ships carry more than 400,000 passengers each year, making it the largest cruise line operating in New Orleans.

Millennials warming up to agents   Millennials warming up to agents
Travel Market Report - MMGY Global, a travel and hospitality marketing firm, teamed up with the American Society of Travel Agents to do a comprehensive study on the value of travel agents. Their report showed that not only are more travelers using travel agent services, but in a recent 12-month period millennials accounted for the highest usage of any generation. MMGY's 2014 Portrait of American Travelers found that 18 percent, up from 12 percent last year, of all respondents booked trips with an agent between February 2013 and February 2014.

  Early numbers suggest U.S. on track for another year of record tourism
Skift - Tourism to the U.S. is on track to reach another record year in 2014 with February marking the seventh consecutive month of visitation increases. The U.S. reached 4.5 million international visitors in February, a 3 percent increase from February 2013, according to the most recent data published by the national Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. In February specifically, visits from Mexico jumped 19 percent, from France 14 percent and from Argentina nine 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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