Office of Tourism Update
June 30, 2017
History Made as Louisiana Seafood Queen Crowned in Lafayette

Louisiana Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB) crowned Chef Bonnie Breaux of The St. John Restaurant in St. Martinville as the Queen of Louisiana Seafood at the 10th annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off, held this evening at the Cajundome Convention Center in conjunction with A Taste of Eat Lafayette. To earn the crown, Chef Breaux prepared Crackling-Crusted Black Drum graced with a Fennel Marmalade, nestled on Abita Amber-infused Brabant Potatoes and Sautéed Haricot Vert, topped with butter-poached, Jumbo-Lump, Blue-Point Crabmeat. Chef Breaux beat eleven of the state’s best chefs by showing her creativity and highlighting the superior quality of the seafood that comes from Louisiana’s nutrient rich shorelines.

Chef Breaux’s first duty as Queen of Louisiana Seafood will be to represent the state at the Great American Seafood Cook-Off held on Aug. 5 in New Orleans, where she will compete against the nation’s top seafood chefs.

Read the 2017 Louisiana Seafood Cook-off News Release

View a Photo Album from the 2017 Louisiana Seafood Cook-off

Chef Bonnie Breaux's Crackling-crusted Black Drum Recipe

Canadian Travel Writers Tour Louisiana

The Louisiana Office of Tourism led Canadian journalists on a tour of Louisiana this week, focusing on the French Cultural heritage Louisiana shares with Canadians. Paul Gallant, Executive Editor of BOLD Magazine, travel writer Marie-Helene Proulx of CHATELAINE Magazine and DINE Magazine’s Executive Editor Adam Waxman participated in the five-day Canadian press trip.

The group’s tour began in Plantation Country with visits to Oak Alley and Laura Plantations as well as a tour and overnight stay at Houmas House. Lafayette hosted the following day with stops at Vermilionville, Martin Accordions and live music at Blue Moon Saloon.

The Houma Area Convention & Visitors Bureau hosted next with trips to Boudreau & Thibodeau’s Cajun Cookin’ Restaurant, Bourgeois Meat Market and Cajun Man’s Swamp Tour & Adventures in Gibson. One entertained journalist quipped, “We ate alligator and fed alligator, all in the same day.”

The final two days were spent in New Orleans that included breakfast at Brennan’s, lunch at Commander’s Palace, dinner at Arnaud’s, cocktails at Bourbon O Bar and live music at 21st Amendment Bar and Preservation Hall in the French Quarter. It also included tours throughout the city’s Garden District, Mid-City, Treme and the Bywater. After a full Louisiana adventure, the writers returned to their respective homes in Toronto and Montreal with a better understanding of our state that will be shared with their readers in the coming months.

Oklahoma Golfers Encouraged to Imagine the Possibilities of Teeing It Up on he Audubon Golf Trail

The Audubon Golf Trail is making headlines in the Sooner State with a feature in the current issue of Golf Oklahoma, the official publication of the Oklahoma Golf Association. This article is a direct result of a media tour of the trail the Louisiana Office of Tourism hosted from April 23-28.

In the article, David Finn details his experience playing the unique layouts and terrains of several of the courses. He also talks about his experience “between the ropes” at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans held every April at TPC Louisiana.

Article excerpt:

“Imagine yourself following the Audubon Golf Trail as it weaves its way from The Big Easy to Baton Rouge and Monroe through the bayous and wetlands, live oaks, cypress groves, and upland pine forests and rolling hills. Imagine the efforts of 16 cooperative members to protect the abundant native wildlife and preserve the natural habitat while delivering the ultimate golf experience.”

Read the full article here on pages 54-55

Celebrating Two Years of Direct Service to Central America

GNO, Inc. celebrated Copa Airlines’ two-year anniversary at Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, where Copa operates nonstop service four times a week between New Orleans, La., and Panama City, Republic of Panama. In the coming days, GNO, Inc. will make an additional announcement regarding an anniversary promotion.
From Tocumen Airport in Panama – the “Hub of the Americas,” Copa Airlines offers flights to more international destinations than any other airline from any other hub in Latin America.

British Airways Announces Continuation of Expanded Flight Schedule as London to New Orleans Route  Proves Popular

British Airways touched down in New Orleans on March 27, 2017. That night, following its inaugural flight, the airline announced an expansion of the service from four days a week to five starting October 31. Now, British Airlines has announced the fifth weekly service connecting Louisiana to the U.K. will continue for the summer 2018 travel season.

Starting on October 31, British Airways will operate between London’s Heathrow Airport and Louis Armstrong International Airport on Mondays, Tuesday, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Louisiana Office of Tourism Adds Two Members to Marketing & Sales Staff

Louisiana Office of Tourism Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston announced the addition of two new staff members Marshall Thompson and Rosie Lawler. Thompson joins LOT as Director of Group Sales while Lawler joins the staff as a Marketing Representative.

Thompson is a 19-year veteran in hotel and resort sales and marketing and is the former National Sales Manager for the Sandestin Golf & Beach Resort in Destin, FL. 

The University of Mississippi graduate spent more than fourteen years at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa where he also served as VP of Sales & Marketing from 2005-2010. Thompson earned several honors including “2005 Sales Manager of the Year” and “Best Social Media Engagement” Brand Award in 2010. The hospitality industry professional also oversaw the International Palms Resort and Conference Center in Orlando, FL, as Director of Sales & Marketing, as well as worked in New Orleans as Director of Group Sales for the Royal Sonesta Hotel.

Thompson will be responsible of increasing visitation across Louisiana’s 64 parishes through LOT’s group sales efforts that includes bus tours, RV travelers, as well as adult and student group tours.

Marshall Thompson
Director of Group Sales
Rosie Lawler
Marketing Representative
Lawler is a University of Louisiana at Lafayette graduate and earned her Hospitality Management degree in 2015. Since graduating, Lawler worked for Pinnacle Entertainment properties including Ameristar Casino in Vicksburg, MS, as Food & Beverage Coordinator and Casino Operations Administrative Assistance for L’Auberge Casino in Baton Rouge, LA.

Lawler also interned at Nottoway Plantation in White Castle, LA, working Front Desk Operations while attending UL-Lafayette.

Among Lawler’s main duties include coordinating LOT’s “Destination Louisiana” program that began in May. Each month, one destination in the state is chosen to receive multi-platform marketing coverage from the Louisiana Office of Tourism. The destination will rotate between north, central, southwest and southeast regions of the state. Lawler will work with each of the highlighted parish tourism offices and LOT’s advertising agencies each month to help roll out timely Louisiana marketing efforts across the state. 
NOPSI Hotel Grand Opening Next Week             

A new luxury hotel opens July 6 in New Orleans.  The NOPSI Hotel (the former headquarters of New Orleans Public Service, Inc.) is located in the Central Business District on 317 Baronne Street within a short walk of The French Quarter, The Warehouse District and the Garden District. The 217-room hotel features 76 suites, 14,000 square feet of meeting space, as well as a rooftop pool and bar.

Thousands of manhole covers still bear the NOPSI name, which inspired the hotel’s unique logo, adding a sense of nostalgia to walk down many of The Crescent City’s streets. For more information call NOPSI Hotel at 844-439-1463 or visit www.NOPSIHotel.com

Are You Attending the Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit? Register NOW!
Registration is now open for our largest educational opportunity, which will be held August 22-24 in New Orleans, with partnership and support from the Louisiana Office of Tourism and presented by Hoffman Media and Miles.  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.

Travel South USA International Showcase Coming to New Orleans in 2020
Signed, sealed, and delivered… the Travel South USA International Showcase is ready for a big time in the Big Easy. New Orleans will host the 9th Annual Event at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans from December 6-10, 2020.

Travel South USA International Showcase is a boutique travel show sponsored in part by the Rhythms of the South Alliance and Brand USA. This event specifically targets International Buyers and US Receptive Tour Operators booking travel for international guests that want to visit the Southeast. The show features pre-scheduled appointments with buyers and operators in pod style format, allowing suppliers to group together to better promote their region.
Louisiana Travel Story Wins National IPW Award

Aaron Millar of National Geographic Traveler won the US Travel Association and Brand USA’s 2017 IPW Travel Writer Awards competition recently announced in Washington, DC.  Aaron picked up the award for the best article on last year’s IPW host city, New Orleans.  The piece appeared in the April 2017 edition of National Geographic Traveler.  Judges described the piece titled “Louisiana: Hoodoo & voodoo, ghosts & graves” beautifully conveyed how the spirit of New Orleans will soak right into your soul.

Arron wrote on t
he ancestral home of Native American tribes; a sanctuary for French-speaking outcasts; and a former shelter for runaway slaves — Louisiana’s famous bayou is its lifeblood, alive with history and legend.

Read the National Geographic Traveler article

Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • July 11-14: DMAI, Montreal Quebec
  • July 16-19: Lieutenant Governor's Mission to Canada
  • 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.

  • Administrative Assistant 5 - Office of Secretary

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