Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
November 13, 2014
Louisiana hosts British Guild of Travel Writers in London

More than 350 U.K. journalists experienced the tastes and sounds of Louisiana at the British Guild of Travel Writers' annual awards dinner Nov. 2 in London. Sponsored by the Louisiana Office of Tourism, industry partners from throughout the state and Brand USA, event attendees enjoyed Louisiana cuisine prepared by chef John Folse and music by Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra. The Guild is the U.K.'s premier travel media association and Louisiana is only the second U.S. destination to host the awards event.

Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.
Irvin Mayfield and the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra.

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne addresses Town Hall attendees in Monroe
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne addresses Town Hall attendees in Monroe
  Marketing to Chinese visitors among feedback at Monroe tourism meeting
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne hosted a tourism town hall on Oct. 28 in Monroe, where attendees shared that a key focus for the region is to market specifically to Chinese travelers. Feedback at the meeting differed from similar events recently held in Shreveport and Lafayette in that the meeting's host site, Chennault Aviation and Military Museum, honors World War II General Claire Chennault, a hero among Chinese citizens, and the attraction would be a tremendous draw to visitors from that market. A fourth tourism town hall meeting will be held in Lake Charles early next year.

Chef Cory Bahr, Monroe-West Monroe CVB President/CEO Alana Cooper and LOT Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston
Chef Cory Bahr, Monroe-West Monroe CVB President/CEO Alana Cooper and LOT Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston
  About 200 attend Garden and Gun Louisiana promotion in Dallas
Around 200 members of the exclusive Garden and Gun magazine club as well as travel media from the Dallas/Fort Worth market attended a Louisiana tourism promotion thrown by the magazine and the Louisiana Office of Tourism in Dallas Oct. 23. Attendees were treated to cuisine by chefs Tim Byres and Cory Bahr and Louisiana music presented by The Deslondes and Feufollet. In addition to a great turnout, the event received media mentions by many market outlets including the Dallas Morning News and Visit Dallas.

Southern Journeys   Online Southern travel site seeking industry social media promotion
Southern Journeys, an online travel series promoting food, music, culture and outdoor fun in Louisiana, Alabama, Florida and Mississippi, is seeking assistance from industry partners in social media promotion. The project launched Oct. 16 on the websites and YouTube channels of U.S. Gulf Coast States Geotourism and VisitSouth. Planned Louisiana content includes segments on the Creole Nature Trail, the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area, Lasyone's Restaurant in Natchitoches, Café des Amis in Breaux Bridge, Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium and downtown Covington. To obtain a promotional media kit including pre-written Facebook, Twitter and Google+ posts, contact Kate Burke kburke@visitsouth.com.

International Visitors to hit new record   International visitors to U.S. expected to reach record 88.3 million in 2014
Skift - International tourism to the U.S. is expected to grow to 88.3 million annual visitors by 2019, a 27 percent increase and more than 18 million more visitors than arrived in the U.S. in 2013. This revised forecast was released by the U.S. Department of Commerce recently and was based on the National Travel and Tourism Office's 2014 Fall Travel Forecast.

From left: Clay Granier, Oak Alley blacksmith, Jane Landry, Oak Alley tour manager, Connie Becnel, Oak Alley assistant director of operations, Kyle Edmiston, LOT assistance secretary, Zeb Mayhew, Oak Alley executive director, Linda & Stephen Keene, 5 millionth visitor, Kimmie Carlos, River Parishes Tourist Commission executive director, Paul Aucoin, River Parishes Tourist Commission chairman, Kathleen Rodrigue, Oak Alley tour guide and Andre Jacob Oak Alley Civil War historian.   Oak Alley Plantation welcomes 5 millionth visitor
Oak Alley Plantation in Vacherie celebrated a milestone Oct. 20 when Stephen Keene of Bowling Green, Ky., became the 5 millionth paying visitor since the attraction's opening in 1976. Upon buying the ticket, Keene and seven in his travel group were showered with streamers and balloons by Oak Alley director Zeb Mayhew Jr., LOT chief Kyle Edmiston and representatives of the River Parishes Tourist Commission. Keene's group also received gifts and keepsakes commemorating the event.

Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
Lafayette Cemetery No. 1
  New Orleans, Natchitoches cemeteries among scariest in U.S.
New Orleans' St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 and Lafayette Cemetery No. 1 and Natchitoches' American Cemetery are three of the 10 scariest cemeteries in the U.S., according to a recent story at FoxNews.com. Author Lyn Mettler's criteria for inclusion were iconic settings, notorious residents or stories of unsavory deaths. The New Orleans sites are the resting place of voodoo queen Marie Laveau and an inspiration to noted New Orleans thriller author Anne Rice. The Natchitoches site is the oldest cemetery in Louisiana.

Festivals Acadiens et Creoles   Festivals Acadiens et Creoles a USA Today top Southern cultural festival
Lafayette's Festivals Acadiens et Creoles was recently named a USA Today 10Best Southern cultural festival. Author Eric Grossman said the annual October gala in Girard Park "packs a ton of free events into its three-day program," citing components that included the Festival de Musique, the Bayou Food Festival and the Louisiana Craft Fair.

Bigfoot   Louisiana sites are best bets for Bigfoot enthusiasts, says USA Today
Toledo Bend Country and a site below Shreveport nicknamed "Monster Central" are among the U.S.' best bets to observe or encounter a Bigfoot, according to a recent USA Today article. Gulf Coast Bigfoot Research Organization spokesman Jim Landsdale told the outlet while as many as 30,000 of the legendary creatures make home in the U.S., two hotspots for sightings are a 1,500 tract 30 miles southwest of Shreveport and the parishes and Texas counties abutting Toledo Bend Reservoir.

Targeting millenial travelers   Revinate offers strategies for targeting millennial travelers
Adventurous, connected and always on the move, millennials have become first priority for travel brands. By 2020, they're set to account for nearly half the workforce and are already on pace to outspend baby boomers by 2030. Revinate and Skift.com have identified key millennial engagement strategies: Go mobile, make it personal and convenient and use targeted marketing.

Marketing travel to seniors   Tips offered for marketing travel to seniors
By 2020 the global population of adults 65 and older will triple, and more seniors will have an appetite for travel and the income and time to do so. A new research report by Amadeus, a travel industry and development company, identifies four key tips for marketing to this audience: They are not "old" but young at heart; they value "sight-doing" versus sightseeing; they wish to leave a legacy as they travel; and technology is not a substitute for human interaction as they plan travel.

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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