Office of Tourism Update
November 17, 2017
Sights, Sounds and Tastes of Louisiana
Proves a Big Hit in the Big Apple
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser claimed success during a recent mission to New York City for the Sights, Sounds and Tastes of Louisiana event. The Lieutenant Governor, Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, Louisiana Travel Promotion Association and six Convention and Visitors Bureaus partnered with Hoffman Media to bring 10 renowned Louisiana chefs to New York to give media and tour operators a taste of Louisiana’s Culinary Trails. Chefs prepared Louisiana’s world-class cuisine from around the state featuring Louisiana seafood along with live music for key influencers, encouraging media to write about the Louisiana culinary experience and inspiring potential visitors to choose Louisiana as their destination of choice.

Participating chefs included:

  • Chef Cory Bahr, Heritage Catering, Monroe
  • Chef Bonnie Breaux, The St. John Restaurant, St. Martinville
  • Chef Lyle Broussard, Jack Daniel’s® Bar & Grill at L’Auberge Casino Resort, Lake Charles
  • Chef Justin East, Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse at Golden Nugget, Lake Charles
  • Chef Blake Phillips, Blue Magnolia Catering, Monroe
  • Chef Jeffery Hansell, Oxlot 9, Covington
  • Chef Jay Ducote, Gov’t Taco, Baton Rouge
  • Chef Holly Goetting, Charley G’s, Lafayette
  • Chef Ryan Trahan, Dark Roux, Lafayette
  • Chef Isaac Toups, Toups Meatery/Toups South, New Orleans

During the trip to New York from November 6-8, Lieutenant Governor Nungesser, the Louisiana Office of Tourism, Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, and partners with area CVBs held meetings with nearly 35 influential travel writers. Additionally, the Sights, Sounds and Tastes of Louisiana event hosted more than 200 more media members and tour operators.

Louisiana Office of Tourism Welcomes New Director of Sales
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser announces the hiring of Megan Ryburn as the Director of Sales for Louisiana Office of Tourism. Ryburn brings nearly seven years of experience in generating new business and increased visitation in Louisiana. For the last five years, she has served as the Tourism Sales Manager for the River Parishes Tourist Commission and the New Orleans Plantation Country where she worked to generate business and increase both domestic and international visitation.

“This hiring is a key element in our plan to increase visitation to Louisiana by putting emphasis at the state level on attracting business to all parts of the state from conventions, associations, groups, and sporting events,” said Lieutenant Governor Nungesser. “While we have always marketed straight to the visitor, we have not had a concentrated focus on larger groups. Megan will help lead a team of people who will focus on growing our already record-setting visitation numbers.”

“We are excited to bring Megan on board with the Louisiana Office of Tourism,” said Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston. “Her experience with the River Parishes Tourist Commission and the New Orleans Plantation Country will prove very valuable to help lead our new direct sales efforts to attract visitors to the state.”

“I am honored to be joining the Louisiana Office of Tourism as the new Director of Sales of the Domestic Market. It's a privilege to work alongside the LOT team, statewide partners and in conjunction with the Lt. Governor's efforts to promote our great state of Louisiana. I'm excited to grow existing partnerships, refine current programs, create new initiatives and increase visitation for Louisiana overall,” said Megan Ryburn.

In addition to working with the River Parishes Tourist Commission, Ryburn has also serves as the Spokesperson and Marketing Representative for the Global Wildlife Foundation in Folsom, LA. She is a 2010 graduate of Louisiana State University and is currently serving on the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association’s Marketing Task Force Committee and the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy’s Young Professional Committee. Ryburn’s first day with the Louisiana Office of Tourism will be Monday, December 4, 2017.
Register Now for Enhancing the Visitor Experience Along Louisiana’s Byways
Visitors to our state seek to experience the authentic culture and visit the special sites that can only be found in Louisiana. Providing visitors with a memorable experience at our tourist attractions is an important component for success in this highly competitive industry.

In our recent rural tourism roundtables many of you requested hands-on training on how to improve your tourism products and learn about the expectations of different types of visitors that come to Louisiana.

In response to your request, Lt. Governor Nungesser is bringing two leading experts on tourism and experience development for a two-day educational workshop. They will share new ideas and methods you can use to enhance the great experiences awaiting visitors in Louisiana.

The workshop will be held December 13-14, 2017, at the Avoyelles Parish Tourism Commission offices at 8592 Highway 1, Suite 3, Mansura, LA 71350. For more information, contact Doug Bourgeois at dbourgeois@crt.la.gov or 225-342-8146.
IPW 2018 Denver – Now is the Time to Get Onboard
The Louisiana Office of Tourism will again have a strong representation with a triple booth at IPW 2018 in Denver, Colorado, May 19 – 23, 2018. IPW is the most important international travel trade show in the United States, and in 2016 was hosted in New Orleans by Louisiana Office of Tourism and New Orleans CVB. Louisiana Destination Marketing Organization partners only are invited to buy into the Louisiana state booth. Private sector partners are encouraged to register with their own booth o n the Louisiana aisle. Detailed information and schedules for the show can be found at www.IPW.com .  

The deadline to confirm to buy into the Louisiana Office of Tourism booth is February 2, 2018. The cost will be $4000 per booth share partner. This includes booth space, all booth services, scheduled appointments, all official events and meals, and individualized company listings. Only one delegate per DMO partner is allowed to buy into the booth. For DMO questions on being a booth share buy-in partner, please contact Mike Prejean, MPrejean@crt.la.gov or 225-342-4354.

Additionally, now is the time to start reserving your accommodations for IPW 2018. To do so, simply visit https://www.wynjade.com/ipwsuppliers18
The Holiday Trail of Lights is Ready to Shine on the Holiday Spirit
Eight cities in north Louisiana have banded together to promote holiday tourism. Family-fun events are paved all along the Louisiana Holiday Trail of Lights. From east to west on I-20, and north and south on I-49. Experience holiday lights, parades, fireworks, shopping and many exciting events in eight of our most festive cities.

The trail includes, Shreveport, Bossier City, Minden, Monroe, West Monroe, Natchitoches, Alexandria and Pineville. The lights in each of the cities will be turned on in the coming nights and stay lit until the New Year.

A special event this year includes the unveiling of the Rue Beauport Riverfront in Natchitoches, a $4 million restoration to include a new Festival Stage and Amphitheatre seating, handicap ramps, new restrooms and a brick promenade that runs along the Cane River.

Find out all about the trail and create your itinerary for family and group tours online at www.HolidayTrailOfLights.com
Winter Rates Offered at North Louisiana State Parks
While you are taking in the holiday spirit along the Holiday Trail of Lights, don’t forget to book those overnight stays in our beautiful State Parks. Now through February 28, overnight rates for cabins, lodges and group camps located in the northern part of the state will be offered at 40 percent off their normal rates at the following parks:

  • Chemin-A-Haut
  • Jimmie Davis
  • Lake Claiborne
  • Lake D’Arbonne
  • North Toledo Bend
  • Poverty Point Reservoir
  • South Toledo Bend

Reservations can be made by visiting www.ReserveLaStateParks.com daily from 7:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. Central, or by calling (877) 226-7652, Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. Central.
Chillin' in the Big Easy
America's Best City For Food
New Orleans has found itself near the top of another list. This time the Big Easy has been named the 4th Coolest City in America by Forbes Magazine. Forbes partnered with bestplaces.net to measure the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) in the U.S. on nine metrics in two categories. Those categories were Lifestyle Preferences and Population Vitality. New Orleans was ranked behind San Francisco, Seattle, and San Diego. You can read more about the entire list in Forbes Magazine .
While New Orleans may be the 4th Coolest City in the U.S., the folks at Travel + Leisure has named it America’s Best City for Food. From the classics, like Cajun and creole favorites and beignets, to more trendy dining options, you can definitely feed your soul in New Orleans. But we would like to think it’s not just New Orleans but statewide along all of our Culinary Trails. Find the entire list on Travel + Leisure’s website .
Tabasco Factory Tour Now Available in French
Every year, thousands of travelers around the world visit the Tabasco Factory Tour at Avery Island. Beginning this month a translation of the Tabasco tour is now available in French. Officials at Tabasco equipped the Visitor Center with free Wi-Fi that allows visitors to access a French translation of the tour on their mobile devices. The self-guided tour takes Tabasco fans through the museum, greenhouse, barrel warehouse and factory building. The (hard copy) menu at Restaurant 1868 is now also available in French. For more information about Tabasco Tours visit https://www.tabasco.com/visit-avery-island
Prospect 4 Comes to the New Orleans Jazz Museum
The fourth iteration of Prospect New Orleans’ international art exhibition, Prospect.4 (P.4), opened to the public at the New Orleans Jazz Museum at the Old U.S. Mint on Saturday, November 18th, 2017. P.4 brings together 73 artists from North America, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the European powers that colonized New Orleans, addressing issues of identity, displacement and cultural hybridity within the context of the celebration of the city’s Tricentennial.

The theme, The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp , alludes to the city’s unique cultural landscape as a creative force. The artists featured were identified and selected by P.4 Artistic Director Trevor Schoonmaker and their placement at NOJM was determined in collaboration with the Louisiana State Museum’s curatorial team, taking into consideration how the museum could best complement the distinctive style of each individual contributor. These artists include Larry Achiampong, Michael Armitage, Satch Hoyt, Rashid Johnson, Darryl Montana, Rivane Neuenschwander, Dario Robleto, Hank Willis Thomas, Peter Williams, and the late Louis Armstrong.
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
  • November 27-30: Travel South International Showcase; Charleston, SC
  • 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 Curatorial Services Director - Office of State Museums
  • Custodian 1-2 - Office of State Museums
  • Parks Buildings and Grounds Attendant - 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