LOUISIANA TRAVEL PULSE
Office of Tourism Update
December 22, 2016
Holiday Message from Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser

Warmest Greetings!

This year, there is so much to be thankful for as our state’s tourism and cultural industries continue to see growth and attract visitors from the around the nation and the globe. Personally, I am extremely grateful that you have blessed me with the opportunity to serve as Lieutenant Governor of the great state of Louisiana. The last year has been filled with hard work serving the people of Louisiana; but the experience was truly rewarding.

I want to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, and I look forward to working together in 2017. I hope you are able to spend time surrounded by those you love and enjoy many blessings for the upcoming year. As always, if I can be of service to you in anyway please do not hesitate to contact me.

Sincerely,

Billy Nungesser
Lieutenant Governor

Louisiana Office of Tourism Closes Out Award-Winning Year with HSMAI Adrian Award
The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) will honor the Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT) with a Gold Adrian Award for digital marketing excellence for its “Destination Recipe Video Series.” The videos, which have garnered more than 2 million views in six months, were produced in collaboration with Miles Partnership. The award will be presented during the 60th annual awards gala in New York on February 21, 2017. This marks the third year in the last four LOT is being recognized with an Adrian Award for digital marketing and the first time being recognized with a Gold Adrian Award.

“Winning an Adrian Award reaffirms all of the hard work the Louisiana Office of Tourism invests in marketing efforts is paying off,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Louisiana is a one-of-a-kind destination, and we are so proud to continue introducing the Louisiana experience to the world. The HSMAI Adrian Awards is a huge accomplishment and it motivates us to continue promoting all of Louisiana.”

The Gold Adrian Award adds to the list of awards LOT has recently received.
  • 2016: Named State Tourism Office of the Year by the Southeast Tourism Society
  • 2016: Three Mercury Awards for Best Travel Website, Best Social Media Campaign, and Judges’ Choice for Best Overall Campaign – Destination Recipe Video Series – presented by the National Council of State Tourism Directors and the U.S. Travel Association
  • 2015: Mercury Award for Best Print Advertising Campaign
  • 2013: Named State Tourism Office of the Year by the Southeast Tourism Society.

Destination Recipe Video Series
How to Make Crawfish Bread
New Shreveport-Bossier Website Wows Judges

The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau’s website took home the silver award at the 2016 Davey Awards, an annual presentation of the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts. Designed by Gorilla Design Studio and built by Simpleview Inc., the new website features content modules that spotlight upcoming events, local attractions, restaurants and hotels.

“I’m so proud of the new website. I think it is easy to navigate, very visually appealing, and really tells our story with a focus on great content,” said Brandy Evans, vice president of communications for the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. “As a result, we have seen that people stay on the site longer and view more pages."

The 2016 Davey Awards received nearly 4,000 entries from ad agencies, interactive agencies, production firms, in-house creative professionals, graphic designers, design firms and public relations firms.

To view their award-winning website, please visit www.Shreveport-Bossier.org.

AAA: Holiday Travel in 2016 to Set New Record
According to AAA, more than 103 million Americans - the most ever on record - are expected to travel for year-end holiday events from December 23 to January 2, representing an increase of 1.5 percent compared to 2016.

AAA says the catalyst for this increase in travel is a combination of lower gas prices, increased consumer optimism, and improvements in the labor market.

Most travelers will drive this holiday season. The vast majority of travelers—93.6 million people—will take a holiday road trip, an increase of 1.5 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase by 2.5 percent, with more than 6 million Americans flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will decrease slightly, to 3.5 million travelers.

New Year’s gas prices second-cheapest in nearly a decade. AAA estimates U.S. drivers have saved more than $27 billion at the gas pumps so far this year compared to the same period last year. Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.23, 23 cents more than the average price on New Year’s Day 2016 ($2.00). Most U.S. drivers will pay the second-cheapest New Year’s Day gas prices since 2009, when the national average was $1.62.

Holiday Season means College Bowl Season and National Spotlight on Louisiana
The holiday season is a time of celebration and gatherings for families across our state and country. It's also a time of celebration for college football teams and the bowl games hosting them, three of which are in Louisiana and nationally televised.

Louisiana's bowl season kicked off on Saturday, December 17, with the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl in the Mercedes Benz Superdome. The Big Easy played host to the Cajun Nation of UL-Lafayette and thousands of fans traveling from Mississippi to cheer on the University of Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles.

On Monday, December 26, the spotlight shines on Shreveport and the Camping World Independence Bowl. This year, Shreveport plays host to thousands of visitors from North Carolina and Tennessee as N.C. State and Vanderbilt square off on ESPN 2 at 4 p.m.

And the final bowl game of the season In Louisiana - The Allstate Sugar Bowl - will be played in the Mercedes Benz Superdome on Monday, January 2, at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. New Orleans will host thousands of fans from Oklahoma and Alabama as the Auburn Tigers tussle with the Oklahoma Sooners in a battle of Top 15 teams.

Other Louisiana teams garnering national exposure this bowl season include the Grambling State University Tigers, champions of the Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl with a 10-9 victory over North Carolina Central. And, the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs face off against Navy in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl on Friday, December 23, at 3:30 p.m. on ESPN.
Louisiana CVB News
  Klenke Receives National Appointment
DeCuir Wrapping up 40+ Year Career

Anne Taber Klenke, tourism director at the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB, has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee for Travel and Tourism Infrastructure. The 25-member committee are public and private sector travel industry stakeholders with expertise in intermodal connectivity and public-private partnerships as they pertain to the tourism industry. Committee members are appointed by the Secretary of Transportation and serve two-year terms. Klenke also serves on the National Scenic Byways Foundation’s board of directors, and she has 28 years of experience in the tourism industry.

After 42 years dedicated to promoting to the City of New Orleans with the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Public Relations and Communications specialist Christine DeCuir has announced her retirement. Since 1974, DeCuir has worked closely with visiting journalists from around the world, planning their itineraries, and ensuring their experiences showcase the best of New Orleans. While the New Orleans CVB is sad to see her go, DeCuir will continue to promote the food, history, culture, music and the great people that make New Orleans so unique.

Thank you, Christine, for a very successful 42 years. 

Lafayette Voted a USA Today "10Best" Warm Weather Getaway

Lafayette’s Cajun culture and subtropical climate teamed to earn the city third place in USA Today’s “10Best” listings for Warm Weather Getaways. Candidates were nominated by noted travel journalist and then selected by reader-cast ballots. High points of the Lafayette experience include live music, food, cozy B&Bs and cultural attractions like Vermilionville, said 10Best. Notable warm-weather destinations edged by Lafayette include Maui, Key West and San Antonio. New Orleans was also nominated for consideration by the expert panel.


To see the entire "10Best" list as voted by readers, please check out USA Today's 10Best Warm Weather Getaways.  

Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • Jan. 12: LACVB Meeting, Morgan City
  • Jan. 26: LTPA Annual Luncheon, Natchitoches
  • Jan. 30-Feb. 2: Louisiana Sales Mission to Paris and Lyon, France
  • Feb. 9: Louisiana Brand USA Immersion Day, Washington, D.C.
  • Feb. 19: 66th NBA All Star Game, New Orleans
  • Feb. 28: Mardi Gras Day
  • March 1: DMAI Spirit of Hospitality Celebration, Wash., D.C.
  • March 8-12: ITB, Berlin, Germany
  • March 12-15: Travel South USA Domestic Showcase, Branson, MO
  • March 20-22: DMAI CEO Summit, Knoxville, TN
  • March 24: LTPA Board Meeting, Baton Rouge, LA
  • March 27-29: Southeast Tourism Society Spring Symposium, Knoxville, TN
  • March 28-29: U.S. Travel Association Destination Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
  • April 4-6: World Travel Market - Latin America, Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • April 13: LACVB Meeting, Baton Rouge, LA
  • May 8-12: National Tourism Week
  • June 3-7: 2017 International Pow Wow (IPW), Washington, DC
  If you have comments or suggestions for future issues of  Louisiana Travel Pulse, contact Barry Landry at blandry@crt.la.gov or Jeff Richard at jrichard@crt.la.gov.