Office of Tourism Update
March 28, 2018
Doug Bourgeois Named Assistant Secretary for the Louisiana Office of Tourism
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser announces the appointment of Doug Bourgeois as the Assistant Secretary for the Louisiana Office of Tourism. Bourgeois has more than thirty years of experience in the travel and tourism industry having worked as a tour guide, meeting planner, domestic and international marketing executive, and most recently in rural tourism development. He has worked for the Louisiana Department of Culture Recreation and Tourism in various roles over the past 18 years.

“I am thrilled to have Doug Bourgeois serve as the Assistant Secretary of Tourism under my administration,” said Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser. “He has served so many different roles in the industry and has a wealth of knowledge and experience that is unparalleled. He offers international expertise, has strong relationships with rural communities throughout the state through our byways program and has worked in the domestic market to promote travel to Louisiana.”

From domestic and international marketing and promotions to rural tourism development, Bourgeois has worked to build and promote the interrelationship between tourism and cultural heritage in the state he loves. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Louisiana Byways Program where he works with federal agencies, local governments and economic development entities to identify, develop and promote tourism assets throughout state.

“I am honored to be selected by Lt. Governor Nungesser to serve the state in this role,” said Bourgeois. “Through my years with the state tourism office I’ve had the opportunity to travel to every part of Louisiana and I’ve experienced firsthand all the great people, places and stories that make Louisiana so special. I look forward to leading our state’s efforts in the marketing and promotion of these assets to the rest of the country and world.”

Prior to joining the Department for Culture, Recreation and Tourism, Bourgeois worked for Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge as the Director of the Conference Services Department where he planned and managed academic meetings and conferences in Louisiana and throughout the U.S. 

Bourgeois has held positions on numerous boards and commissions which include the Mississippi River Parkway Commission, Louisiana Folklife Commission, Louisiana Board of International Commerce and Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Commission.

Originally from Thibodaux, Bourgeois earned a B.A. in Communications from Louisiana State University. While at LSU, he worked as a tour guide for a Louisiana based tour operator. 
Louisiana Office of Tourism Heads to Houston to Offer Texas a Taste of Experiences that will Feed Your Soul
Louisiana traveled to Houston on March 5 to promote Louisiana as a place where you can Feed Your Soul . On March 5 at the House of Blues Houston, the state’s legendary cuisine and iconic music were on display for nearly 80 media members to give them a taste of the authentic experiences you can get only in Louisiana. The goal of the mission was to connect with travel writers in the valuable Houston area drive market to promote the state and each area as a place where you can Feed Your Soul, whether your soul needs food, music, or the most authentic of cultural experiences. 

The Louisiana Office of Tourism partnered with the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board along with tourism partners from Houma, Lafayette, Louisiana’s Northshore/St. Tammany Parish, New Orleans, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana, Visit Baton Rouge, Ascension Parish, Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou/Lafourche Parish, and New Orleans Plantation Country.

The group hosted an exclusive Louisiana-style media event with live music and Louisiana seafood dishes at House of Blues Houston to draw attention to the state’s new message, ‘Feed Your Soul,’ and new opportunities for visitors this year, such as the New Orleans’ Tricentennial celebration, the 150th anniversary of TABASCO, and the 50th anniversary of the Jambalaya World Championship Cook-off.

Grammy-nominated music educator and saxophonist Huber “Mickey” Smith, Jr., brought some soul and jazz music to Houston. Mickey is quickly becoming one of jazz’s most thrilling and emotive performers and ambassadors, and he continues to stand out and push boundaries as a composer, performer, teacher and recording artist in Louisiana. To bring the flavor and spice, Chef Lyle Broussard shared his Cajun and Creole flavors and his passion for Southwest Louisiana’s culture and cuisine. Chef Broussard is the executive chef at the iconic Jack Daniels® Bar & Grill at L’Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles. He has had two decades in the kitchen and is continually recognized for celebrating his Louisiana roots. Chef Broussard demonstrated a pan-seared grouper topped with Louisiana blue crab au gratin while sharing his stories of Louisiana and learning to cook. Additionally, a special Feed Your Soul Sazerac, a drink with New Orleans roots, was the signature cocktail for the event.

The following day officials with LOT and partner CVBs met with newspaper and magazine editors, radio station hosts and key influencers. Each CVB provided story ideas from their areas with information and contacts that will supply journalists, bloggers, and key influencers with an easy-use guide to get started with planning their stories encouraging travel to Louisiana. 

Louisiana Travels to Biloxi to Showcase the State for the 36th Annual Travel South Domestic Showcase
The Louisiana Office of Tourism, and 53 tourism partners from around the state, showcased everything Louisiana offers to Feed Your Soul during the Travel South Domestic Showcase in Biloxi, MS, on March 18-20.

Monday morning kicked off with a high-energy performance from Louisiana native Amanda Shaw during the Louisiana-sponsored breakfast. Throughout the rest of the day, tourism partners held appointments with tour operators and media to promote Louisiana as a place to Feed Your Soul. The Louisiana Office of Tourism connected with nearly 40 journalists during the event, all excited about the state’s new branding and everything to see and experience in Louisiana.

Travel South Domestic Showcase is the premier Marketplace event in the South where over 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.

In 2020, Travel South Domestic Showcase returns to Louisiana and will be hosted by Visit Baton Rouge.
FY19 Competitive Grant Program Applications Due In April
The deadline to apply for the FY19 Competitive Grants Program is Monday, April 30, at 4:30 p.m. Through the Competitive Grants Program (CGP), the Louisiana Office of Tourism awards grants to help fund marketing initiatives associated with eligible tourism events held throughout Louisiana from July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019. These grants are aimed at increasing and improving out-of-state visitation and economic impact for all areas of Louisiana. Please make sure you have shared this information with eligible events and attractions in your area.

Bringing Amede Home in St. Landry Parish
This month officials at the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission welcomed a 1,500-pound forged steel sculpture of legendary Creole accordionist Amédé Ardoin, to their visitor center entrance in Opelousas. The event marked Ardoin’s 120th birthday of March 11, 1898. The Sunday afternoon included a candlelight vigil, jam session and other presentations with A rd oin family members joined by Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, St. Landry Parish President Bill Fontenot and steel sculptor Russell Whiting of Breaux Bridge.

Lafayette Daily Advertiser music and entertainment writer Herman Fuselier wrote that “Ardoin performed French waltzes and two steps that made women cry in the dancehalls. Ardoin’s songs of a lost love named Joline and life as an orphan helped lay the foundation for modern Cajun music and zydeco.”

The St. Landry Parish Visitor Center in Opelousas is located on Interstate 49 at Exit 23. Find out more about Ardoin’s story and his la la style of Creole music of the 20’s and 30’s from the St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission website .
James Beard Nominees Announced
The 2018 James Beard Award nominees were announced in Philadelphia on March 14. Several Louisiana chefs and restaurants made the cut. The 2018 James Beard Award Gala will take place on Monday, May 7, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. This year’s Louisiana nominees and honorees include:

Outstanding Bar Program
Cure, New Orleans

Outstanding Chef
Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Outstanding Pastry Chef
Kelly Fields, New Orleans
Willa Jean, New Orleans

Outstanding Restaurateur  
JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans

Outstanding Wine Program
Bacchanal, New Orleans

Best Chef: South
Nina Compton, CompEre Lapin, New Orleans
Kristen Essig & Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans
Slade Rushing, Brennan’s, New Orleans

Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees
(Honorees will accept their awards at James Beard Award Gala May 7)
Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin, Co-Proprietors, Commander’s Palace, New Orleans

America’s Classics (Presented by TABASCO)
(Honorees will accept their awards at James Beard Award Gala May 7)
Dong Phuong Bakery, New Orleans, Owner: Linh Tran Garza
British Celebrity Chef Showcases Louisiana Back Home
Celebrity chef James Martin traveled across the United States last fall for his television show “James Martin’s American Adventure” that premiered this month across Europe. Chef Martin and his television crew traveled cross-country to produce twenty episodes and five of them were based in Louisiana.

“James Martin’s American Adventure” includes stops to Lafayette, the Tabasco Factory Tour at Avery Island, Houmas House Plantation and Gardens, experiencing an LSU tailgating Saturday in Baton Rouge, as well as New Orleans.

The 60-minute shows aired nationally across the United Kingdom on ITV and provided great promotion for Louisiana tourism. All five Louisiana episodes can be viewed online at the following links:

New Orleans Plantation Country Seeks Sales and Business Development Manager
The New Orleans Plantation Country is seeing a Sales and Business Development Manager to join their staff. This position will market and sell the River Region area as a product and destination for meetings, convention, and group and consumer travel. Additionally, the Sales and Business Development Manager will work with local stakeholders to develop and grow the product of the River Region to grow business and increase the overall visitor experience. For more information on applying for the Sales and Business Development Manager position, please visit the New Orleans Plantation Country website .

Books Along the Teche Literary Festival – April 6-8, 2018
In its third year, Dave Robicheaux’s Hometown Literary Festival is debuting a new name and some new events to enjoy. Now called the Books Along the Teche Literary Festival , the event will celebrate not only the works of James Lee Burke but each year will also highlight a different Great Southern Writer that calls the south home or explores a unique aspect of our culture. This year’s honoree is Ernest J. Gaines. Ernest J. Gaines is a world-renowned novelist, short story writer and teacher. He is among the most widely read and highly respected contemporary authors of African American fiction. In 1971, Gaines completed the work that was to make him famous,  The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman . In 1981, he accepted the position of Writer-in-Residence at the then University of Southwestern Louisiana in Lafayette. Not long into his tenure, he published  A Gathering of Old Men  (1983) followed by  A Lesson Before Dying , one of his most critically acclaimed novels. His latest book, The Tragedy of Brady Sims , was published in August 2017.

Mr. Gaines will be featured during the Great Southern Writers Symposium on Saturday, April 7, 2018. The event will feature a reading by Mr. Gaines, discussion, and a question and answer session.

Additionally, various venues will celebrate literature and its impact on the area’s culture with storytelling workshops, readers theatre, music, bourée lessons and tournament, bus and boat tours, a 5K run, and of course, plenty of great Cajun and creole food. For more information on all the events happening, check out the festival website below. Join us April 6-8 in New Iberia as we explore the wonder of an area rich in history, culture, lore, and literature.

Upcoming Meetings & Events

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 Program Specialist C - Office of State Museums
  • Museum Special Projects Coordinator - 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