Office of Tourism Update
February 10, 2017
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser Leads Mission to France to Promote Tourism in Louisiana
Gregor Trumel, Consul General de France en Louisiane; Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser; and, Sen. Dan Claitor in front of the Luxembourg Palace (French Senate Building).
Sen. J.P> Morrell and Lt. Governor Nungesser check out the massive French Senate Chambers.
During the week of January 30, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, his staff, and tourism professionals from around the state, had the pleasure of visiting with people in Paris and Lyon to talk about all the amazing things to see, do, and experience in Louisiana. The visit came on the heels of the recent, historic re-signing of the France-Louisiana Accords supporting French immersion education in Louisiana classrooms.

Among the highlights of the trip were spending time with Mayor Anne Hidalgo in Paris and Vice President de la métropole de Lyon Bruno Charles -- in Lyon at the Skyroom – man, what a view, touring and learning the history of Luxembourg Palace, and visiting the U.S. Embassy in Paris – the oldest diplomatic mission for the United States. The Lieutenant Governor also met with members of the Association France-Louisiane to discuss ways we can leverage the historical and cultural ties between France and Louisiana.

The French culture has a major influence throughout Louisiana’s history. And this past is well-preserved in our architecture, music, food, and lifestyles – including our amazing festivals – and of course in our museums of history and fine arts. It’s no accident that in Louisiana a common phrase heard is “Laissez les bons temps rouler!

And, the group made sure to let France know we are going to let the good times roll, especially during these next two years in Louisiana. This year, we are celebrating the bicentennial of the city of Baton Rouge – our state’s capital. Next year, in 2018, we celebrate the tricentennial of New Orleans. And in late November through December 8, we celebrate LUNA Fete. LUNA stands for Light Up NOLA Arts and is a celebration of lights throughout parts of New Orleans. It is hoped the visit to Lyon will lead to a collaboration with their Festival of Lights.

Throughout the group’s time in France, they had the opportunity to meet with even more exceptional and friendly people. From the Lieutenant Governor’s interviews on TSF Jazz Radio with Laurent Sapir and Monde TV5 with Mohamed Kaci, to events with travel tour operators and bloggers at places like Le Cirque and LuLu White’s, the connections made will be treasured for years to come. 
Louisiana Celebrates Black History Month

February is Black History Month throughout our country. It’s an annual celebration of the achievements by black Americans and a time to recognize their contributions to the history of our state and our country.

This celebration started in 1926 when the second week of February was declared “Negro History Week” because that week coincides with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln, February 12, and Frederick Douglass, February 14. In 1976, as part of the United States Bicentennial celebrations, the expansion of Negro History Week to Black History Month was recognized by the federal government.

In 2008, the state of Louisiana designated the Louisiana African American Heritage Trail in order to highlight the many contributions African Americans made to the culture of the state and the country.

Louisiana’s African-American Heritage Trail includes 41 sites ranging from historic homes and antebellum plantations to churches and cemeteries. To learn more about the trail sites, visit the trail’s official website.

any historical sites and attractions in Louisiana work year-round to honor the tremendous contributions to society by the black community. To read about events, exhibits, and special tours at the plantation homes in the New Orleans Plantation Country, click here.

For more information on the integral part African Americans played in Louisiana’s broader history, you can read The African American Experience in Louisiana.

Reminder: Sign Up for the #OnlyLouisiana Ambassador Program
Thanks to your efforts signing up, the #OnlyLouisiana Ambassador Program is off to a great start. We are asking that you email and post the link to sign up on your social media for all your friends, families and members. And, as you run into other passionate Louisianans, invite them to become a #OnlyLouisiana Ambassador also because the more special experiences we can share, the more visitors we can expect. Our goal is for everyone to share with the world all the great things to see, taste and experience that you can find only in Louisiana.  
#OnlyLouisiana Ambassador Program Website 
Grant Opportunities
FY18 Cooperative Marketing Grant Applications Released

Through the Cooperative Marketing Program (CMP), the Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT) supports the promotion of tourism in Louisiana by providing grants to Louisiana-based convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), tourist commissions, and other eligible entities for the placement of qualifying advertisements in eligible media outlets.

To be eligible to apply for CMP funding, the Applicant must be a Louisiana-based CVB, tourist commission, or political subdivision of the state of Louisiana, created and/or authorized to promote tourism within its jurisdiction.

The deadline to submit applications is Friday, April 21, 2017, at 4:30 p.m.

Applications for the FY18 Cooperative Marketing Grant can be accessed here.

Reminder: FY18 Competitive Grant Program Applications Due in March

As a reminder, the deadline to apply for the FY18 Competitive Grants Program is Friday, March 17, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. Through the Competitive Grants Program, the Louisiana Office of Tourism awards grants to help fund marketing initiatives associated with eligible tourism events held throughout Louisiana from July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2018. These grants are aimed at increasing and improving out-of-state visitation and economic impact for all areas of Louisiana.

Please make sure you have shared this information with eligible events and attractions in your area.

To access the FY18 Competitive Grant Program application, please click here .
2017 Louisiana Historical Marker Program Application Released

The Louisiana Historical Marker program commemorates facts, persons, events, and places prominently identified with the history of the nation, state, or region. Historical markers are privately sponsored and funded by sponsors. Any individual or group may nominate a location or occasion of historical interest for historical marker commemoration. 

The 2017 Louisiana Historical Marker Program
application deadline is Wednesday, May 17, 2017. TO access the online application, please click here. All applications must be postmarked by the day of the deadline. If you have questions, please call Lynne Coxwell at 225.342.2876 or by email at lcoxwell@crt.la.gov.

And the Winners are... LTPA Announces the 2017 Louey Awards in Natchitoches
The Louisiana Travel Promotion Association (LTPA) announced the winners of the annual Louey Awards during its Annual Membership Meeting in Natchitoches on January 29. The Louey Awards recognize individuals and organizations making an outstanding contribution to the Louisiana Tourism industry.

Winners of the 2017 Louey Awards are:

  • Outstanding Convention and Visitors Bureau/Tourist Commission of the Year (up to $499,999): Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Burea
  • Outstanding Convention and Visitors Bureau/Tourist Commission of the Year (budget from $500,000 - $999.999): Sabine Parish Tourist Commission
  • Outstanding Convention and Visitors Bureau/Tourist Commission of the Year (budget from $1 million and above): Visit Baton Rouge
  • Tourism Campaign/Promotion of the Year: Eat Here Cenla
    Festival/Event of the Year: Alex Winter Fete
  • Attraction of Year: Mcllhenny Company
  • Accommodation of the Year/Full-Service Lodging: DoubleTree by Hilton, Lafayette
  • Accommodation of the Year/Limited-Service Lodging: Comfort Suites, Natchitoches
  • Accommodation of the Year/Bed & Breakfast: A Chateau on the Bayou
  • Restaurateur of the Year: Charlie Goodson
  • Campground RV/Park of the Year: Lakeview Lodge, Ferriday
  • Major Event of the Year: U.S. Travel’s 2016 IPW
  • Governmental Friend of Tourism: Representative Helena Moreno
  • Governmental Friend of Tourism: Senator Eric LaFleur
  • Will Mangham Tourism Lifetime Achievement: Michael Valentino
  • Rising Star of the Year: Jonathan “JT” Taylor, Livingston Parish CVB
  • Victor Profis Travel Media: Michael Stafford & Ellen Lewis Stafford
LTPA Celebrates Graduation of the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy's Class of 2016; Welcomes Class of 2017

Congratulations to the Class of 2016 of the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy! The 22 members of the class officially graduated from the program during the LTPA Annual Membership Meeting in Natchitoches. The Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy gives students the opportunity to meet and learn from seasoned tourism industry leaders, as well as rising stars in the industry. Additionally, students learn leadership skills, an understanding of issues that affect the tourism industry statewide, networking skills, and a connection to peers in the industry all of which are currently leading the way into the future.

Members of the Class of 2016 include:

Tracy Browning, Ascension Parish Tourist Commission; Timothy Bush, Bayou Lafourche Area CVB; Marcilla Cook, Vernon Parish Tourist Commission; ​Christina Cooper, St. Tammany Parish TC; Zachary Ebarb, Shreveport-Bossier CTB; Jean-Paul Gisclair, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation; Jesse Guidry, Lafayette CVC; Erica Howard, Shreveport-Bossier CTB; Zeb Mayhew III, Oak Alley Plantation; Morgan Moss, The Myrtles Plantation; Christy Naquin, Bayou Country Children's Museum; Emily Fenet Parker, L'Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles; Joey Pierce, Houma Area CVB; Meggie Powell, Houma Area CVB; Amanda Quimby, Ruston Lincoln CVB; Megan Ryburn, River Parishes Tourist Commission; Connie Silva, Louisiana Office of Tourism; Sheila Snow, Monroe-West Monroe CVB; Marie Stagg, Nottoway Plantation; Gloria Thompson, Living the Dream Charters; Kelli West, Alexandria/Pineville Area CVB; Zane Wilson, Renaissance Publishing, LLC; Eric Zartler, Lake Charles SWLA CVB. 

Additionally, LTPA announced the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy Class of 2017. These 20 members start their journey on February 9 in New Orleans.

Members of the Class of 2017 include:

Mallory Asp
, Mardi Gras World; Rebecca Blankenbaker, Cane River National Heritage Area, Inc.; Marica Mackenroth Brewster, Tomahawk Tourism Marketing; Alvon Brumfield, Louisiana Renaissance Festival; Kimberly Caldarera, Isle of Capri; Ryan Cochran, Communify; Megan Gavlick, L'Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles; Brittany Gilbert, Renaissance Publishing; Katherine Johnson, Natchitoches Parish Tourist Commission; Zondra W. Jones, St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission; Barry Landry, Louisiana Office of Tourism; Shanna Landry, Lake Charles/SWLA CVB; Kaylie LeBlanc, Lafayette CVC; Angie Manning, Lake Charles/SWLA CVB; Joshua McNemar, Office of Lieutenant Governor; Jessica Ragusa, Office of the Lieutenant Governor; Madeline Sanchez, Louisiana Travel Promotion Association; Timika L. Spurlock, Sheraton New Orleans Hotel; Stella Thornton, LA. Tax Free Shopping Commission; Kellie Walters, Bayou Lafourche Area CVB.

Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • 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 IPW, Washington, DC
  If you have comments or suggestions for future issues of  Louisiana Travel Pulse, contact Barry Landry at blandry@crt.la.gov.