Office of Tourism Update
January 11, 2018
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Office of Tourism are accepting applications for the position of Assistant Secretary for the Louisiana Office of Tourism. Please send a letter of interest along with a resume to Office of Lieutenant Governor, Chief of Staff, P.O. Box 44243, Baton Rouge, LA 70804-4243. The deadline for submission is January 19, 2018.

The Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT) is the destination marketing organization for the state of Louisiana. It is charged with the sales, marketing and promotion of the state as a travel destination for potential visitors, both domestic and international. LOT’s objective is to increase the number of visitors annually, enhance visitor experiences, generate and increase annual visitor spending resulting in greater tax revenues for local and state government, and increase tourism employment for all areas of the state. The Louisiana Office of Tourism works to promote a positive image of the state as a great place to visit, play, live, and retire.

The Louisiana Office of Tourism promotes the economic growth of Louisiana through a variety of proven and effective methods. Partnerships with city/parish Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) provides a critical link in the successful marketing plan including the cooperative marketing program grants, opportunities with trade show participation, opportunities for campaign advertising, opportunities for participation in international sales/media missions, opportunities for media or tour operator familiarization tours, and sponsorships of major events in the local community. City/parish DMOs are the key stakeholders in LOT short term and long term objectives.

Inspiring visitation to Louisiana requires LOT to invest in a 24/7 strategy that includes broadcast advertising, digital media placement, print advertising, content creation, social media interaction across multiple channels, and public relations outreach to media around the world. Investing in tourism promotion is essential to develop an image and brand that resonates with potential visitors.

In addition, the LOT develops and initiates a visitor research strategy. This includes visitor profiles for domestic travelers, visitor profiles by country for international travelers, parish by parish economic impact reports, and an annual update on visitation and economic impact of tourism for the state. The state also provides access for visitors to trained and knowledgeable travel counselors through a network of Welcome Centers at strategic entry locations around the state.

In today’s highly competitive global marketplace, Louisiana must be authentic, memorable, and live up to the expectations of the traveler in order to maintain relevancy and inspire future potential travelers to the state.
Less than two weeks after New Orleans began its Tricentennial celebration, The New York Times released its “52 Places to Go in 2018” and New Orleans is number one on their list. New York Times travel editor Dan Saltzstein wrote, “There is no city in the world like New Orleans. Influences from Europe, the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa and indigenous peoples have made it the ultimate melting pot. And that diversity expresses itself in a multitude of ways that define New Orleans in the American imagination: music, food, language and on and on.”

Here’s the Top 5:

  1. New Orleans
  2. Columbia
  3. Basilicata, Italy
  4. Caribbean Islands
  5. Vierwaldstattersee, Switzerland

Cincinnati, Ohio, is the second highest ranked U.S. city, coming in at No. 8.

Temperatures in New York City and New Orleans may have been frigid, but TV ratings were hot. Billboard magazine reports the annual Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve saw its biggest audience in 27 years, welcoming 25.6 million viewers. The event included a live central time celebration of a six foot tall fleur de lis drop atop JAX Brewery in downtown New Orleans hosted by ‘Pretty Little Liars’ star Lucy Hale. Show producers also aired video from Shreveport and Lafayette showing viewers how New Year’s Eve is celebrated in other parts of Louisiana. The ratings were higher than last year’s Grammy Awards telecast, which aired on CBS last February, making it the top music special of 2017. Musical performances were provided by Imagine Dragons and Walk the Moon as part of the live Central Time Zone countdown. The telecast kicked off Tricentennial celebrations in the Big Easy as New Orleans turns 300 this year and encouraged people to come visit Louisiana. Go to www.visit2018NOLA.com for more information on the Tricentennial year of events schedule.
The Mardi Gras season officially kicked off on January 6 th, also known as Twelfth Night. While many people around the country and world may think Mardi Gras is simply celebrated in New Orleans, the carnival season is a special time across the entire state. Mardi Gras parades and celebrations are unique and special events all across many Louisiana cities and towns including Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Natchitoches, Shreveport, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe-West Monroe and Ruston (just to name a few). Go to www.LouisianaTravel.com/mardigras for more information on Mardi Gras activities across Louisiana. Come for Mardi Gras. Bring your inner child.
This month marks the 165 th anniversary of Solomon Northup regaining his freedom. Officials recognized his story and life on January 4 th with the unveiling of a historical marker on the front steps of the Avoyelles Parish Courthouse in Marksville. Northup, a black man who was born free in New York state, was kidnapped and sold into slavery in 1841, worked in Avoyelles and Rapides Parishes in central Louisiana and was rescued in 1853. Northup penned his memoir titled “Twelve Years a Slave.” His story later became a film and earned an Oscar for Best Film in 2013. Solomon’s great, great, great grandchild Vera Williams was on hand for the dedication and told The Town Talk newspaper, “Our motto is to ‘keep the flame burning’ of his story.” The marker is placed at the courthouse where Northup finally secured his freedom on Jan. 4, 1853-- 165 years to the day of Thursday’s event.
There are 21 stops along the 83 mile Solomon Northup Trail that allows visitors to follow the path of Northup during his 12 years as a slave. The trail is part of the Louisiana Trails and Byways program. There are 18 scenic byways capturing Louisiana’s unique history, food, music and culture. Find out more at www.LouisianaByways.com
The National World War II Museum attracted over 706-thousand visitors and broke annual attendance numbers since the museum first open its doors in 2000. Officials say 706,664 visitors were recorded during in 2017. The museum also set a single-day attendance record when 6,642 guests were welcomed on Dec. 27. “We closed out the month of December with a total of 67,119 visitors and over 30,000 of those visitors came in just one week alone,” Stephen Watson, museum president and CEO, said in a news release. Last September, the National World War II Museum was named No. 2 in the world and nation in the 2017 TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Awards for museums. Find the latest activities and events going on at www.nationalww2museum.org
The Louisiana Office of Tourism is producing its second-quarter calendar of events, for events happening April through June 2018.

To include an event in the printed calendar, submit event information to the online calendar via the submit event link at the bottom of www.LouisianaTravel.com by 5 p.m. Jan. 25.

For additional information or assistance, please contact Lynne Coxwell at l coxwell@crt.la.gov or 225-342-2876.
Upcoming Meetings & Events

  • 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
  • Maintenance Repairer 1-2 - Office of State Parks

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