Office of Tourism Update
August 1, 2017
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser Leads Delegation on Mission to Canada

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser led a mission to Quebec with 10 Louisiana Convention & Visitor Bureau partners this month. During the trip, Lt. Governor Nungesser attended and spoke at the RVFFA, the Network of Francophone and Francophile Cities of the Americas founded by the mayors of Quebec City, Moncton, and Lafayette. Last year, the conference was held in Lafayette. Accompanying the Lt. Governor at the conference were Mayor Joel Robideaux of Lafayette, Mayor Jacques Roy of Alexandria, and Mayor Thomas Nelson of St. Martinville. More than 300 attendees participated in workshops and developed future plans for economic and social opportunities between the cities, as well as merging the promotion of French language and culture into tourism and other business entities. At the conference, Lt. Governor Nungesser signed an agreement with the province of Quebec solidifying the cooperation between Louisiana and Quebec to further the fostering education on French development and culture.


Additionally, the Lt. Governor and our partner CVBs participated in a sales mission to tour operators and media in Quebec City to promote Louisiana and the ties between the two. Participating CVBs included the Avoyelles Commission of Tourism, Lake Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau, St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission, Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission, West Feliciana Parish Tourist Commission, Visit Baton Rouge, New Orleans Plantation Country, St. Tammany Parish Tourism Commission, Shop Louisiana, and New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Louisiana Plays Host to Group of Chinese Photographers

A group of Chinese photographers visited 15 areas of Louisiana over 10 days in July. Sponsored by Canon, the group used the company’s latest line of cameras to capture amazing images from the New Orleans French Quarter to bayous and swamps to life in Louisiana. The pictures will be published on social media and travel photography websites in China showcasing the beauty of our state for Chinese travel and photography enthusiasts.

The groups said their favorite parts of our state were the food (obviously), getting out into the swamps, marshes and the Kisatchie National Forest, and how welcoming and friendly everybody was.

Throughout the 10 days, the group visited New Orleans, the Northshore, Houma, Plantation Country, Baton Rouge, St. Martin Parish, Lafayette, Tabasco, Bayou Rum, Lake Charles, Toledo Bend, Natchitoches, Kisatchie National Forest, Monroe, Ruston, and Shreveport to name a few.

Click here for a photo album of the group’s trip through Louisiana.

Get Ready for the 2017 Great American Seafood Cook-Off

Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board will welcome chefs from across the country to the nation's ultimate seafood cooking competition in New Orleans on August 5.

In its 14th year, the 2017 Great American Seafood Cook-Off will be held in front of a live audience and panel of nationally-acclaimed judges at the Ernest Morial Convention Center in New Orleans on August 5, 2017, starting at 11:30 a.m. The public is invited and tickets are available at the door!

During the competition, 13 chefs will prepare a dish that highlights the use of domestic seafood while interacting with a live audience, celebrity hosts and the "chef ref." Each dish will be presented to a panel of nationally known judges, who will score based on presentation, creativity, composition, craftsmanship and flavor.

The competing chefs are:

  • Chef Brody Olive, Alabama (Voyager's Restaurant at Perdido Beach Resort)
  • Chef Lionel Udippa, Alaska (SALT)
  • Chef Jason Perry, Florida (The Fish House)
  • Chef Ryan Nelson, Indiana (Late Harvest)
  • Chef Bonnie Breaux, Louisiana (The St. John Restaurant)
  • Chef Kyle McClelland, Massachusetts (Saltie Girl)
  • Chef David Dickensauge, Mississippi (Corks & Cleaver Wine Bistro)
  • Chef Amber DiGiovanni, Missouri (Cookbook author and culinary teacher)
  • Chef Jay Smith, New Hampshire (Copper Door)
  • Chef Mark Quinones, New Mexico (MAS Tapas y Vino)
  • Chef Jennifer Behm-Lazzarini, Rhode Island (RED FIN Crudo + Kitchen)
  • Chef Ryan Coffindaffer, South Carolina (The Alisa Pub)
  • Chef Joe Cervantez, Texas (Brennan's of Houston)

Follow @LaSeafoodBoard on Instagram and Twitter and keep up will all Great American Seafood Cook-Off (GASCO) events via the official hashtag, #GASCO17.

Lt. Governor’s Tourism Summit Reminder

We are just more than 3 weeks away from the 2017 Lt. Governor’s Tourism Summit. This year’s gathering will be in New Orleans from August 22-24, 2017, and the Louisiana Office of Tourism and Louisiana Travel Promotion Association want to make sure you get the most of your experience.


Make sure you have registered. The early bird discount ends August 11. Follow this link to register today.


Click here to download a brochure for an overview of Summit.

If you have any questions about registration, contact Angie Burley at aburley@ltpa.org or call 225-346-1857.

Baton Rouge to host 2020 Travel South Domestic Showcase

It’s official! Baton Rouge will play host to the tourism industry when it welcomes the 2020 Travel South Domestic Showcase to the Capital City. The event will take place in Baton Rouge from March 8-11, 2020.


Travel South Showcase is the premier Marketplace event in the South where more than 500 tourism professionals gather for 3 days of intensive meetings with a goal of delivering more visitors, spending more time and more money in the South. This regional appointment-style marketplace offers the most targeted opportunity for tour operators and wholesalers to meet face to face with Southern Suppliers.

Entries Sought for Fourth Quarter Events Calendar            

The Louisiana Office of Tourism is producing its fourth-quarter calendar of events, for events happening October through December. 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. Aug 9.

For additional information or assistance, please contact Lynne Coxwell at lcoxwell@crt.la.gov or 225-342-2876.

The Power of Research Garners 2017 Achievement Award
The Southeast States Chapter of Travel and Tourism Research Association (SETTRA) was awarded the 2017 Chapter Achievement Award at the 46th Annual Travel and Tourism Research Association Conference held in Quebec City, Quebec. The Travel and Tourism Research Association’s (TTRA) Chapter Achievement Award is presented to the chapter that best furthers the mission of TTRA through spirit, innovation, effectiveness and creativity. SETTRA submitted a proposal under the Outreach category for the Power of Research initiative. The chapter was awarded $1,000.
USA Today Touts Best Louisiana Attractions

So what are Louisiana’s top attractions? USA Today polled its readers and Houmas House Plantation & Gardens in Darrow took the top nod among in-state destinations and attractions. In a separate USA Today’s readers’ choice poll, L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles is now among the ranks of Mohegan Sun and Ceasars Palace as one the best casinos in the nation.

The Top 10 in the Best Louisiana Attraction include:

  1. Houmas House Plantation & Gardens – Darrow
  2. Oak Alley Plantation – Vacherie
  3. Steamboat Natchez & The Mississippi River – New Orleans
  4. Abita Mystery House – Abita Springs
  5. Honey Island Swamp – Slidell
  6. The National WWII Museum – New Orleans
  7. Vermilionville Living History Museum – Lafayette
  8. Mardi Gras World – New Orleans
  9. Atchafalaya Basin – Henderson
  10. City Park – New Orleans 

Houmas House recently added a one hour guided tour done completely in French and available daily at 11:40 a.m. The 177-year-old plantation home is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Visitors can tour the grounds, stay at the inn and enjoy Louisiana cuisine. Houmas House is located along Louisiana’s Plantation Country, approximately one hour away from New Orleans.  For more information visit www.houmashouse.com.

In a separate USA Today’s readers’ choice poll, L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles finished as fourth best Casino in the nation. L’Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles offers a 70,000 square foot casino area complete with 70 table games and 1,600 slots. The 26-story hotel complex also offers families two resort swimming pools, a kid-friendly lazy river and private cabana courtyard. L’Auberge Casino Resort also holds the prestigious Four Diamond Hotel Rating by AAA. For more information visit: www.llakecharles.com.


The Top 10 in the Best U.S. Casino include:

  1. Mohegan Sun – Uncasville, CT
  2. Ceasars Palace – Las Vegas
  3. Pechanga Resort & Casino – Temecula, CA
  4. L’Auberge Casino Resort – Lake Charles, LA
  5. Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa – Atlantic City, NJ
  6. Peppermill Resort Spa Casino – Reno, NV
  7. Foxwoods Resort Casino – Mashantucket, CT
  8. The Cromwell Hotel – Las Vegas
  9. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Sioux City, IA
  10. Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa – Las Vegas
Third Paddle Wheeler to Launch from New Orleans

The American Queen Steamboat Company is set to christen its third vessel, American Duchess, on August 13 at the Port of New Orleans and begin its first Mississippi River cruise August 14. The American Duchess is the third paddle wheeler of the fleet along with American Queen and American Empress. The American Duchess is a 166-guest all-suite vessel that will offer overnight stays departing from New Orleans.

These uniquely themed river cruise voyages feature special entertainment creating an experience unlike any other; from Civil War and Big Band Swing to Christmas Markets and New Year’s Celebrations. For more information visit www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com.

Louisiana Links Get More Love

The Audubon Golf Trail received some more love in the latest issue of Planet Golf Review, a digital golf magazine. The review takes you through more than just golf with stops in New Orleans, the Golf Club at Audubon Park, TPC Louisiana, Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, Santa Maria Golf Course, Carter Plantation, Tamahka Trails Golf Course, and Black Bear Golf Club. Each page also includes a “Journey Planner” to help people find places to eat and stay and other things to do when not playing golf.


To read the article, click here and start on page 6.

Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • August 22-24: Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit, New Orleans
  • August 26-29: ESTO, Minneapolis, MN
  • September 13-15:Garden & Gun Cast and Blast, Grosse Savanne
  • September 19: LTPA Board Meeting, Covington
    September 19-21: US/China Leadership Summit, Atlanta, GA
  • Sept. 25-Oct. 3: Lieutenant Governor's Mission to Germany & United Kingdom
  • November 5-8: Louisiana Culinary Trails Media Mission, New York, NY
  • November 9: LACVB Meeting, TBD
  • November 27-30: Travel South International Showcase, Charleston, SC
  • December 13: LTPA Board Meeting, New Orleans
Department of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism - Employment Opportunities
The following positions with the Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism are posted on the Civil Service LA Careers website.

  • Museum Special Projects Coordinator - Office of State Museums
  • Budget Analyst 1-3 - Office of State Parks
  • Facility Project Planner - Office of State Parks
  • Tourist Information Counselor 1-2 - Office of State Museums

For more information, please visit  http://www.crt.state.la.us/employment-opportunities/index
If you have comments or suggestions for future issues of Louisiana Travel Pulse, contact Barry Landry at blandry@crt.la.gov or Charlie Whinham at cwhinham@crt.la.gov