Office of Tourism Update
January 18, 2017
Louisiana Office of Tourism and New Orleans CVB Announce Firm to Support Tourism Efforts in China
The Louisiana Office of Tourism and the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau announce the selection of China-based tourism marketing and public relations firm East West Marketing Corporation to support tourism efforts in China. 

The Chinese travel market is the fastest growing inbound travel market to the United States and currently the third-largest overseas inbound market, projected to rank number one by 2021. This opportunity is crucial in contributing to the increase of international travel to New Orleans, the state of Louisiana and the Southern Region as a whole. This partnership will also have a major economic impact on Louisiana tourism dollars, with Chinese visitors ranking number one in spending. 

“International travel has increased 36 percent to the state and 37 percent to New Orleans over the last year. That’s huge for our state because international visitors stay longer, see more, and as a result spend more money,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “Louisiana has a one of a kind experience to offer visitors and we need to continue putting our best foot forward and making sure people around the world know Louisiana is ready to help them pass a good time.”

“As part of our continued effort to market New Orleans to the world, we have identified China as an emerging source of increased visitation to New Orleans. This is the first step in a long-term strategy of cultivating this market and introducing New Orleans’ unique attributes to the people of China. We are excited about partnering with the Louisiana Office of Tourism to attract more Chinese visitors to New Orleans and Louisiana,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans CVB.

The addition of East West Marketing Corporation increases the visibility of Louisiana and New Orleans in key international travel markets. Currently, the New Orleans CVB and the Louisiana Office of Tourism have international representatives in Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Additionally, the state is represented in Australia, Japan, and Italy.
Happy Birthday, Baton Rouge!! 200 Years and Counting!!

The City of Baton Rouge began its official, yearlong Bicentennial Celebration on Tuesday, January 17, 2017. The legislature officially incorporated the town of Baton Rouge as a city on January 17, 1817. The boundaries as noted in the official record at the time were "…..from the mouth of the bayou at the upper part of the town of Baton Rouge called Garcia’s Bayou (Capitol Lakes) and extending on the main branch of said bayou to the distance of forty arpents from the Mississippi on the lower line of the tract of land claimed by Madame Marion and pursuing the direction of said line to the distance of forty arpents to the Mississippi."

The celebration kicked off with a birthday party of sorts for the city as newly-elected mayor Sharon Weston-Broome declared it "Wear Red Day" to show pride in the city. The festivities included music by the Nick Abraham Band and a birthday cake.

Throughout the year, Visit Baton Rouge is giving away free, double-sided signs commemorating Baton Rouge's 200th to all areas businesses and organizations participating in the yearlong celebration. For a full slate of events around the Capitol City during the 200th Birthday Celebration, visit batonrouge200.com.

NBA All-Star Game
Fan Favorites Schedule
It's almost time for tip-off in New Orleans as The Big Easy welcomes the best in the NBA for a weekend of crowd-pleasing dunks and high-scoring basketball. Leading up to the 66th Annual NBA All-Star Game, there is a full slate of events open to the public including the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge, NBA All-Star practice, and more. See below for a complete schedule.

The 2017 NBA All-Star Game will bring together the league's best for a weekend celebration of basketball. The NBA All-Star Game will be held Sunday, February 19, in the Smoothie King Center. The event will be broadcast live in more than 200 countries worldwide in more than 40 different languages.

Schedule of Events (Open to the Public)
  • Friday, February 17, 6:00 p.m. - NBA All-Star Celebrity Game; Mercedes-Benz Superdome
  • Friday, February 17, 8:00 p.m. - BBVA Compass Rising Stars Challenge; Smoothie King Center
  • Saturday, February 18, 11:00 a.m. - NBA All-Star Practice; Mercedes-Benz Superdome
  • Saturday, February 18, 1:30 p.m. - NBA D-League All-Star Game presented by Kumho Tires, NBA D-League Three-Point Contest and NBA D-League Slam Dunk Contest presented by Verizon; Mercedes-Benz Superdome

Tickets to these events are available at NBATickets.com and start at $10.

From Touchdowns to Smackdowns - Wrestelmania 34 Heading to New Orleans

From touchdowns to smackdowns, the Mercedes-Benz Superdome will host WrestleMania 34 for the second time in New Orleans. On April 8, 2018, Raw’s wrestlers are taking over the Big Easy looking to generate a crowd of  more than 75,000 fans. In 2014, WrestleMania produced a ticket revenue of $10.9 million and an economic impact of $142.2 million for the city. In addition, WrestleMania will also host a NXT showcase, WWE Hall of Fame ceremony and a live episode of SmackDown during the 2018 WrestleMania weekend at the Smoothie King Center. 

Read More & View News Conference Highlights

Entries Sought for 2nd Quarter Events Calendar

The Office of Tourism is producing its 2nd Quarter Calendar of Events, for events happening April through June. To include an event in the printed calendar, submit event information to the online calendar via the submit event link at the bottom of LouisianaTravel.com by 5 p.m. January 25. For additional information or assistance, please contact Lynne Coxwell at lcoxwell@crt.la.gov or 225.342.2876.

FY 2018 Competitive Grant Program

The application for the Louisiana Office of Tourism's FY 2018 Competitive Grant Program (CPG) will be posted by noon on Thursday, January 19, 2017. It can be accessed on LOT's Industry Partners Grants page. The goal of the CGP is to encourage and support marketing initiatives for tourism events that attract and retain visitors to the state and have a positive impact on Louisiana's economy. Application deadline is Friday, March 17, 2017.For more information on the CGP, contact Lynne Coxwell at lcoxwell@crt.la.gov or 225.342.2876.

Nominations open for Southeast Tourism Society's Top Twenty Events and Shining Example Awards

The deadline is fast approaching to get those nominations submitted for the Southeast Tourism Society's Top Twenty Events.

The best events across the Southeast compete to receive the prestigious Top 20 Events designation. Through a nomination process, Southeast Tourism Society chooses the Top 20 events in the Southeast for each month of the year and publishes this list of winners quarterly. The Top 20 Events listings reach over 1,600 media outlets each quarter including web, magazines, radio, TV stations, AAA publications and newspapers.

The next deadline for events occurring in July, August, and September is this Friday, January 20, 2017. You can use the link below to nominate your events. 


It's also time to start thinking about those Shining Example Award nominations. Shining Example Awards recognize outstanding contributions in professional tourism across member states of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia & West Virginia.

Nominate your star, your partners, your region for a Shining Example Award and be in the spotlight as one of Tourism’s Best & Brightest in the Southeast.

The deadline to submit is December 31, 2017. To see the categories for the award, click here. To access the nomination for click here.

If you have any questions, contact Wendy Thomas at wendy@southeasttourism.org or 770-542-1523 

Visit Baton Rouge Staff Member Awarded Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Certification
Congratulations to Courtney Hunt, Destination Services Manager with Visit Baton Rouge, on earning her Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Certification from the Convention Industry Council.

This distinguished credential, recognized throughout the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry, demonstrates an individual's comprehensive knowledge of meeting management as well as a commitment to the profession. CMP is the most widely recognized meetings industry designation in the world. The CMP designation has been earned by more than 14,000 meeting professionals in 36 countries and territories worldwide.
Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • 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.