Office of Tourism Update
March 24, 2017
Lt. Governor's Tourism Sales Mission to Germany and United Kingdom
September 25 - October 3, 2017

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser will lead a Louisiana delegation on a sales mission to Frankfurt, Hamburg and London on September 25 – October 3, 2017. The cost per delegate is $2,000 and will include the following:

  • September 25: Delegation dinner and mission briefing in Frankfurt;
  • September 26: Travel agent evening event;
  • September 27: Tour operator and media lunch in Frankfurt;
  • September 27: Train transportation from Frankfurt to Hamburg;
  • September 28: Tour operator and media lunch in Hamburg;
  • September 28: Consumer event with CANUSA;
  • September 29: Travel agent breakfast with FTI;
  • September 29: Delegation fish and chips dinner
  • October 2: Tour operator and media lunch and an evening travel agent event. 

September 30 and October 1 are free days. There are no mission activities planned around the New Orleans Saints/Miami Dolphins game at Wembley Stadium.

All airfare and accommodation expenses are the responsibility of the participant. A block of rooms has been reserved at the Marriott Frankfurt, the Westin Hamburg, and the London Hilton Park Lane. The New Orleans CVB has graciously agreed to be the financial partner for this mission and payment must be received by Friday, September 1, 2017, at the NOCVB in order to participate. Please email Mike Prejean,
mprejean@crt.la.gov, by June 30 if you intend to participate or with any questions. 

Chinese Key Opinion Leaders “Laissez les bon temps rouler” During the Jewels of the South Media Tour

In Louisiana, we treat you like you’re family. That was no different this week as cities along the I-10 corridor rolled out the red carpet to welcome three Key Opinion Leaders from China. The Jewels of the South tour was coordinated with the help of Travel South USA and East West Marketing in Shanghai, China. Joining us in Louisiana were Yukiko Murayama, Xiaoguang Zhang (Aurora), and Hong Ren (Iris), along with Yue Li (Catherine) from Travel South USA and Qin Zhao (Sean) from East West Marketing. Transportation was provided by Demin Fan of US-China Connections out of Atlanta.

The group visited the Lake Charles area, Lafayette area, Baton Rouge, Houmas House, and New Orleans during their 4-day Louisiana adventure. Along the way they were introduced to Mardi Gras, swamps, plantations, the State Capitols (new and old), and the French Quarter. There was also no shortage of good food and drink including boudin, king cakes, etouffee, boiled crawfish, alligator, Bayou Rum, and deserts such as Bananas Foster invented and made famous in New Orleans. It was interesting to learn that they felt right at home feasting on our Cajun staples as the inclusion of rice and spices reminded them of meals they eat in China. One thing learned during the trip is that crabbing would be a big draw for a Chinese traveler. They mentioned the opportunity to fish fresh crabs out of our waterways would be very appealing.

It’s safe to say Louisiana set the bar very high as the group moved on to tour Alabama and Tennessee!

When Demin Fan, who operates tours through his company, was asked about the trip, he said, “The trip is awesome! I didn't know Louisiana has so much to offer, and many tourism resources. I posted on my WeChat moment every day, and many of my past clients are very interested, and look forward to visiting! Including two groups (rich people, high-end) that are not only interested but even ask me to organize a trip to Louisiana! Thank you so much for putting me in this FAM, I've learned a lot and had a really good time.”
DMAI Reveals New Name and Brand

Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) announced that, effective July 2017, it will be known as Destinations International. The new name is the result of a collaboration with Miles Partnership, stakeholder feedback, and an 8-month rebrand review. The announcement was made during the 2017 CEO Summit in Nashville.

Throughout 2016, DMAI reviewed past and current initiatives with the goal to build a new framework for the organization in 2017 and beyond. During this time, the team collectively established a new Vision, Mission and Value Proposition and subsequently the Business Plan for 2017.

  • Vision: We want to be truly member-centric and do everything we can to help DMOs thrive.
  • Mission: We will empower our members so that they — and their destinations — excel. It’s that simple.
  • Value Proposition: We want to inform, connect, and inspire our members. The effects of our indispensable work benefit tourists, destinations, workers, and the destinations themselves. It is truly a win for everyone.

In 2017 and beyond, DMAI will continue to provide its members with research, networking opportunities, professional and organizational development, and certification programs, all keeping both individuals and organizations at the front of the industry curve. 

Music Ambassador Program – Have Your Musicians Hit a High Note on the Road

Louisiana is commonly known for its musical diversity across the state. You can find local musicians sharing their hot tunes around every corner. The Louisiana Office of Tourism recognizes the impact that these musicians have on Louisiana natives and tourists and offers a stipend of $1,000 to Louisiana musicians when they perform at a qualifying, out-of-state event. The state will supply logoed promotional items to the artist, such as bandannas and guitar picks. At some point during the on-stage performance the artist will distribute the items and in their own words invite the audience to “visit Louisiana” for great live music, unique culinary experiences, over 400 annual fairs and festivals, etc. The artist will take a video as proof of performance, which will be shared on Louisiana Travel’s website. The event must meet three qualifications: it take place on outside state borders; it must be at least three years old and last year’s attendance must have been at least 10,000 people. Applications for the Louisiana Office of Tourism’s Music Ambassadors Program are available now on Louisiana Travel
NOPSI Hotel Prepares for Opening; Puts Out Call for Memorabilia
Originally opened in 1927 as the New Orleans Public Service’s utility and transport provider on the corner of Baronne and Union streets in the Central Business District, this building is now being remodeled into a 217-room museum-style luxury hotel. In preparation for its opening in June, the hotel is asking the community to donate any items that would honor NOPSI’s history and is seeking all types of memorabilia, including photographs, posters, signs, books, recipes, tickets, coins, payment books, etc. All items can be mailed or delivered to:

               NOPSI Memorabilia Collection
               NOPSI Sales Office
               935 Gravier Street, Suite 120
               New Orleans, LA 70112

Electronic items and scans can be sent via e-mail to
NOPSI@salamanderhotels.com, and all items should be marked with the year, contact name, address, phone number and e-mail address. If items are donated by May 31, 2017, each provider will be entered into a drawing to win a two-night stay for two in the rooftop Presidential Suite, spa treatments for two and dinner for two at NOPSI’s signature restaurant, Public Service. The hotel invites people to share their stories and images of NOPSI on its Facebook page, www.facebook.com/nopsihotel and across all platforms using #NOPSIMemories. For more information, visit www.NOPSIHotel.com.

More Louisiana Events Among the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top 20 for March and April

Two more Louisiana events were recognized with the coveted honor as a Top 20 event from the Southeast Tourism Society for the months of March and April. Winning a Top 20 award can lead to more publicity and recognition for the best events in the Southeast.

In Shreveport, the Krewe of Gemini received the honor for February 2017. The Krewe of Gemini touts itself as the first parading krewe in modern times in the Shreveport-Bossier City area, promoting the Mardi Gras spirit to northwest Louisiana.

And, for the month of April, The Original Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival was recognized as a 2017 Top 20 Event. The festival, held April 7-9 at the Lake Charles Civic Center, features more than 10,000 pounds of boiled crawfish as well as entertainment including live bands, parade, and carnival rides for the kids.

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.

A member of the Krewe of Gemini tosses beads to the crowd at the annual Krewe of Gemini Mardi Gras parade. 
Eligha Guillory Jr., Sires D. Ceasar and Michael Hodgkins, representing The Original Downtown Lake Charles Crawfish Festival, receive the Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 Event award from Brant Parish (far right), chairman of the board of directors of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau. 
Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • 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
  • April 24: Tourism Day, State Capitol
  • May 8-12: National Tourism Week
  • June 3-7: 2017 IPW, Washington, DC
  • June 28: LTPA Board Meeting, Ruston
  • July 11-14: DMAI, Montreal Quebec
  • August 22-25: Lt. Governor's Tourism Summit, New Orleans
  • August 26-29: ESTO, Minneapolis, MN
  • September 19: LTPA Board Meeting, Covington
  • November 9: LACVB Meeting, TBD
  • November 27-30: Travel South International Showcase, Charleston, SC
If you have comments or suggestions for future issues of Louisiana Travel Pulse, contact Barry Landry at blandry@crt.la.gov.