LOUISIANA TRAVEL PULSE
Office of Tourism Update
March 9, 2017
Lt. Governor's Tourism Sales Mission to Canada

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser will lead a Louisiana delegation on a sales mission to Quebec City and Montreal on July 16-19, 2017. The cost per delegate is $500 and will include the following:

  • Delegation breakfast and mission briefing in Quebec City on July 17;
  • Tour operator and media lunch in Quebec City on July 17;
  • Registration and participation in the Network of Francophones and Francophiles Conference in Quebec City on July 17 & 18;
  • Ground transportation from Quebec City to Montreal on July 19 and tour operator and media lunch in Montreal on July 19.

All airfare and accommodation expenses are the responsibility of the participant. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton Quebec, (800) 447-2411 and group code of GLOUIS, with a rate of $299 per person, the deadline to book a room in this block is April 14. The New Orleans CVB has graciously agreed to be the financial partner for this mission and payment must be received by June 16, 2017 at the NOCVB in order to participate.

Please email Mike Prejean, mprejean@crt.la.gov, by March 31 if you intend to participate.

State of the Travel Industry 2017; Three Emerging Travel Trends
Travel is an essential economic contributor, providing jobs for millions of Americans. 2017 offers promising opportunities to strengthen the industry and advance priorities, though the community must stay united to face challenges. In the following  video, U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow offers insight into the current climate and future outlook of the travel industry.

And from the death of the big brand, to going virtual, and a new kind of customer, there are emerging trends in travel. For a look at these trends for 2017, read this article in the Huffington Post by Cliff Johnson.
Brand USA Launches New Consumer Campaign & Website

Excerpted from T3 News Network:

“Brand USA, the destination-marketing organization for the United States has unveiled a new consumer campaign and website, www.gousa.in, as the organisation works to increase inbound tourism to the United States. Through this new interactive campaign, “See How Far You Can Go,” Brand USA illustrates the diversity of the United States and invites travellers to share their own unique experiences.

The ‘See How Far You Can Go’ consumer campaign spans a variety of advertising and media platforms including, online videos, out-of-home signage, high impact online display ads, and social media posts that will drive awareness of the new campaign and inspire visitation to the USA. The campaign launches with an innovative social-first approach, concentrating on shareable and relatable imagery and video content whose first person viewpoint will draw consumers into the frame and make them feel like they could have captured the shots themselves.  Music will also play a significant role in the new campaign, with music tracks tailored to individual personas and reflective of sounds distinct to the USA.”

To read more about this new venture, please click here.

Lights, Camera... Louisiana!
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser Announces Launch of Reel Louisiana Video Contest

This week, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Office of Tourism announced the launch of the first Reel Louisiana video contest. We are asking filmmakers to show us in 90 seconds or less the kind of magic #OnlyLouisiana holds. Through a partnership with Audience Awards, filmmakers may submit up to three videos showing the best experiences around the state that make Louisiana so unique, and possibly win a cash prize for their work.

“We want to tap into the tremendous talent and passion of so many Louisianians and fans of Louisiana,” says Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser, “This is an opportunity to grow the state’s marketing assets as well as recognize the creativity and hard work of filmmakers.”

Submissions will be accepted now through July 31, 2017, at 1 p.m. Central Time. Submitted entries will be posted at https://theaudienceawards.com/louisiana-tourism/reel-louisiana/entries.

Winners will be awarded $20,000 in prizes: first place will receive $8,000, second place $3,000, third place $2,000 and seven honorable mentions will receive $1,000 each. There is no cost to enter.

For more information on Reel Louisiana rules, video formats and how to submit your video, please click here.

Louisiana's Cajun Bayou Branches Out; Unveils New Live Oak Driving Tour
This week, Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou (formerly Bayou Lafourche Area CVB) unveiled its new Live Oak Driving Tour, a self-guided driving tour designed to entertain and inform visitors through brief stories about the historical oaks dotting Lafourche Parish.

William Guion created the Lafourche Live Oak Driving Tour to help visitors and locals alike explore this fascinating new tourism route. Visitors can navigate the Live Oak Tour online at www.liveoaktour.com or by using a printed brochure, available later this month and available at the Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Visitor’s Center in Raceland, the Thibodaux Chamber of Commerce office, and several tourist information locations in the area.

Photos online and in the brochure, along with the historic background of each live oak, will enhance the experience. More than 400 trees in Lafourche Parish are registered with the Live Oak Society with about 25 percent of those being more than a century old. The Live Oak Driving Tour is just a sample of that history, taking on a route to visit 40 different locations.
Louisiana Events Land Among the Top 20 in the Southeast for January, February, and March
Jaina Ange (left) and Lauren Reyes (center), Lake Charles Civic Ballet principal dancers, receive the Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event award from Brant Parish (right), chairman of the board of directors of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau. 
Judith Washington (left), executive director of the Black Heritage Festival, receives the Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event award from Tara Johnson (right), sales manager for the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Rhea Shields (left), vice president of the Iowa Rabbit Festival, receives the Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event award from Brant Parish (right), chairman of the board of directors of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau.  

Several Louisiana events landed the prestigious Top 20 designation from the Southeast Tourism Society for the months of January, February, and March. Winning a Top 20 award can lead to more publicity and recognition for the best events in the Southeast. Here is a list of Louisiana events earning the designation in the first quarter of 2017:

January

  • Mardi Gras Southwest Louisiana, Southwest Louisiana – January 6 – February 28

  • Louisiana Fur and Wildlife Festival, Cameron, LA – January 13-14

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Festival, Lake Charles, LA – January 13-16

February

  • Southwest District Livestock Show & Rodeo, Lake Charles, LA – February 2-4

  • Krewe of Gemini Grand Parade XXVIII, Shreveport, LA – February 25

March

  • Black Heritage Festival, Lake Charles, LA – March 10-12

  • Iowa Rabbit Festival, Iowa, LA – March 17-18

  • Lake Charles Civic Ballet, Assemble 2017, Lake Charles, LA – March 18-19

If there is an event in your area you think should be included in the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 for April, May, or June, there is still time to nominate that event. Just go to http://southeasttourism.org/meetings/top-20 and fill out the nomination form. The next deadline is April 14, 2017.  

Tour Operators and Hoteliers: Spice up your guests’ next visit to Louisiana

The Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau is promoting a partnership between McIhenny and the Basin Street Station Visitor Information and Cultural Center in New Orleans to offer one-day excursions to Avery Island to tour the world famous Tabasco Factory and Jungle Gardens.

The round trip bus tour will depart Basin Street Station at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, returning that afternoon. For $65, visitors will get a round trip transportation to Avery Island, a tour of the expanded Tabasco Factory, lunch at Restaurant 1868, and a tour of the updated Jungle Gardens.

For reservations and questions, call 337-373-6139 or email CountryStore@Tabasco.com.

A Guide to Relishing a Tasty Lafayette

Room 5, an online hotel magazine powered by trivago, recently featured Lafayette and all the food, fun, and great places to rest up for you next adventure. Here is an excerpt from the article:

“The culture of Lafayette, much like its food, is seasoned with a taste of Cajun French and Louisiana Creole. The culinary scene here is celebrated with titles like “Tastiest Town of the South” and “Best Food City” and has a distinct identity that is steeped in tradition. Mixed with the inventiveness of young chefs re-creating what modern Cajun cuisine can be, we suggest you come hungry.”

To read the full feature story on trivago's website, please click here.

Emile the Crawfish has his Tail Saved from the "Berl" as Lt. Gov. Nungesser Delivers the First Ever Pardoning of a Crawfish

Named after the founder of Zatarain’s, Emile the Crawfish became the first crustacean to ever receive a pardon from Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser to kick off crawfish season. Beginning this year, the first Tuesday following Mardi Gras Day will be known as the Annual Pardoning of the Crawfish because a turkey shouldn’t be the only animal to receive a pardon. Emile was selected from the other brave crawfish raised in Louisiana will meet their fate with courage and sacrifice. With the official pardon, Emile will be saved from being served in any boil, etouffee, po-boy, or dish imagined by any Chef or Cajun.

To read more about the inaugural pardoning, and to see video of the event, please click here.

Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • 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.