LOUISIANA TRAVEL PULSE
Office of Tourism Update
December 13, 2017
Louisiana Office of Tourism Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston Named a Top 25 Extraordinary Mind in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization
The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) has named Louisiana Office of Tourism Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston as one of the organization’s 2017 Top 25 Extraordinary Minds in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization. The prestigious award is given annually to honor the top 25 achievers in sales, marketing, and revenue optimization of hospitality, travel and tourism organizations for their accomplishments in the preceding 18 months.

Under Edmiston’s leadership, the Louisiana Office of Tourism received 11 national awards including:

  • 2016 State Tourism Office of the Year – Southeast Tourism Society
  • 2016 Gold Adrian Award in Digital Marketing Excellence for Destination Recipe Video Series – HSMAI
  • 2016 Mercury Award for Best Travel Website – National Council of State Tourism Directors & U.S. Travel Association
  • 2016 Mercury Award for Best Social Media Campaign – National Council of State Tourism Directors & U.S. Travel Association
  • 2016 Mercury Award for Judges’ Choice for Best Overall Campaign for Destination Recipe Video Series – National Council of State Tourism Directors & U.S. Travel Association
  • 2016 American Advertising Award for Judges’ Choice Digital Marketing for Louisiana Libations – adFed Suncoast
  • 2015 Mercury Award for Print Advertising - National Council of State Tourism Directors & U.S. Travel Association
  • 2014 Bronze Adrian Award in Digital Marketing for Louisiana Brewery Trail Video - HSMAI
  • 2013 Silver Adrian Award in Digital Marketing Excellence for Louisiana Tourism - Discover America SEM Campaign - HSMAI
  • 2013 Silver Adrian Award in Digital Marketing Excellence for Louisiana Travel Social Media - HSMAI
  • 2013 State Tourism Office of the Year – Southeast Tourism Society

On a national level, Edmiston is the immediate past chairman for Travel South USA’s board of directors and serves on the board of directors for Brand USA and the Southeast Tourism Society. He also serves on U.S. Travel Association’s board of directors executive committee. In August, the U.S. Travel Association named Edmiston the 2017 State Tourism Director of the Year during the annual Education Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference in Minneapolis.

In August, the U.S. Travel Association named Edmiston the 2017 State Tourism Director of the Year during the annual Education Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) conference in Minneapolis.

HSMAI will honor The HSMAI Top 25 in conjunction with the Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala on February 20, 2018, at the New York Marriott Marquis.
Louisiana Office of Tourism Joins Forces with Local Partners to Promote International Travel
Nearly 45 Convention and Visitors Bureaus and attractions in Louisiana joined the Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT) in promoting the state to international tour operators during the 2017 Travel South USA International Showcase on November 27-29 in Charleston, SC. Delegates had the opportunity to showcase their area to more than 100 international and U.S. tour operators. In its sixth year, the Travel South USA International Showcase primarily focuses on international travelers interested in visiting the Southeastern United States.

The quality of the Travel South USA International Showcase is evident and since the show’s inception, the New Orleans CVB and Louisiana Office of Tourism have been annual sponsors. The showcase allows states and destinations one-on-one opportunities to better promote their regions. After hosting the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW in New Orleans in 2016, Louisiana stands to see an increase of 1 million international visitors and a direct economic impact of an estimated $1.7 billion through 2018. Many international tour operators not attending IPW attended the Travel South International Showcase. The Louisiana Office of Tourism is gearing up for the next IPW in Denver in May 2018.

Travel South USA has announced New Orleans as the host of the 2020 International Showcase. Additionally, Baton Rouge will host the 2020 Travel South USA Domestic Showcase.
Celebrate the arrival of the New Year in Travel + Leisure’s Best Place to Spend New Year’s Eve
New Orleans has been dubbed the “Best Place to Spend New Year’s Eve” by Travel + Leisure. The reason, according to Travel + Leisure, “As the No. 1 champ for cocktails, the singles scene, and friendly neighborhood joints, the Crescent City is a natural winner for a memorable New Year’s Eve. And if you’re not the life of the party? So much the better—you can still have a great time checking out everyone else: New Orleans also ranks No. 1 for people-watching.”

For the second year, New Orleans will host the live Central Time Zone countdown to the new year on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest.” The live segment from the Allstate® Fan Fest for the Sugar Bowl® will include exclusive live performances leading up to the fleur-dis-lis drop near Jackson Square.

The celebration in New Orleans is made possible through collaborations between the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation, the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Allstate® Sugar Bowl® and the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism.

Here are Travel + Leisure’s Top 10 Best Places to Spend New Year’s Eve:

  1. New Orleans, LA
  2. San Juan, Puerto Rico
  3. Honolulu, HI
  4. Savannah, GA
  5. Las Vegas, NV
  6. Phoenix/Scottsdale, AZ
  7. San Antonio, TX
  8. San Diego, CA
  9. Austin, TX
  10. Charleston, SC

And, what about New York’s Times Square, the much heralded face of New Year’s Eve? Travel + Leisure says, “It made a mediocre No. 13 showing, perhaps due to cold temps, big crowds, and high prices. Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer, a native New Yorker, admits that she has spent more New Year’s Eves than she can count in Times Square. ‘Every year I swore I wouldn’t do it again,’ she said, ‘but then a friend would come into town, or it wouldn’t seem so cold—but it was never really fun.’”
Whitney Plantation makes 2018 International Bucket List
Business Insider Magazine’s UK edition has highlighted Whitney Plantation as one of 25 places you need to visit in 2018 according to the world’s top travel experts. Respected travel writer and blogger Abi King touted the 40-acre Whitney Plantation located in New Orleans Plantation Country and the astonishing slave history offered to visitors. King wrote, “Not only will you find the legendary hospitality of America’s Deep South, see beautiful bayous, and taste grits and gumbo, but you’ll gain insight from visiting the first museum to show life through the eyes of the people enslaved in the US.”

In 2014, the Whitney Plantation opened its doors to the public for the first time in its 262 year history as the only plantation museum in Louisiana with a focus on slavery.

Find out more at www.WhitneyPlantation.com .

Also, LOT also extends sincere congratulations to Ms. King. Her Inside the Travel Lab blog was named one of the world’s best travel blogs by Lonely Planet, the world’s biggest travel guide publisher. Abi is one of seven to be recently named as a Lonely Planet Trailblazer. Ms. King says it should mean more work, more partnerships and the chance to work from within the decidedly inspirational Lonely Planet London offices.
New Orleans Tops Survey as Quirkiest American City
Move over Austin, New Orleans has just been named by Travel and Leisure magazine readers as the Quirkiest City in America. The top 20 Quirkiest Cities in America included Austin at number-two, long celebrated for its eccentric qualities and the famous motto, “Keep Austin Weird.” Portland, OR; Providence, RI; Albuquerque, NM; and San Francisco were among the top six in the survey. Editors of Travel + Leisure wrote, “The city known for its jubilant funerals, voodoo shops, and seemingly nonstop festival- from the roller-derby-based San Fermin Festival to the Oak Street Po’ Boy Festival- was a shoo-in to win the quirky category.”
Lafayette Touted by Huff Post Brand Forum
Researchers at Booking.com dug into its data to create a list of lesser known travel destinations within the U.S. that are perfect for a range of interests and hobbies. For many travelers, the perfect getaway not only allows you to relax, but also to pursue your hobbies away from home. Lafayette was named by Huff Post Brand Forum as one of the top “Seven Under-the-Radar U.S. Spots.”

Foodies from around the country are encouraged to take their hobbies to the Hub City. The area’s Gourmet food as well as the historic Mouton Plantation Bed & Breakfast were highlighted. Other locations featured on the list included swimming among wildlife in Crystal River, FL, and cycling in Davis, CA.
DEADLINE NEARING - Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board Seeks New Look Through Student Design Competition
The Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board is calling on all Louisiana high school students to help create a new look and feel for the Louisiana Seafood brand. In partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education, Lt. Governor Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Board are inviting all high school students across the state to use their creativity and submit a design for the new logo. All final submissions will be accepted until Friday, December 15, 2017, at 5 p.m. For more information on the competition and guidelines, visit http://www.louisianaseafood.com/contest .
Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • December 13: LTPA Board Meeting; New Orleans
  • January 6: Twelfth Night; Carnival Season begins
  • January 22-23: LTPA Annual Meeting; Lafayette, LA
  • February 12: Destinations International Spirit of Hospitality Celebration; Washington, DC
  • February 13: Mardi Gras Day
  • March 7-11: ITB Berlin; Berlin, Germany
  • March 18-20: Travel South Domestic Showcase; Biloxi, MS
  • March 21-22: Destination Capitol Hill; Washington, D.C.
  • April 3-5: World Travel Market Latin America; Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • April 23-26: Destinations International CEO Summit; Bermuda
  • April 23-25: Inaugural Southeast Tourism Society Conference; Myrtle Beach, SC
  • May 6-12: National Travel and Tourism Week
  • May 19-23: 2018 IPW; Denver, CO
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
  • Tourism Information Counselor 1 - Office of Tourism

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