LOUISIANA TRAVEL PULSE
Office of Tourism Update
October 23, 2017
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser Celebrates National Seafood Month
October is National Seafood Month. To celebrate seafood and all that it means to Louisiana’s tourism industry and economy, Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board set out around the state promotion #OnlyLouisiana seafood from Lafayette to Lake Charles. The tour was designed to prove the 850 million pounds of seafood Louisiana produces every year is the best in the nation and the world!
 
Lieutenant Governor Nungesser appeared on morning news shows in Lafayette and Lake Charles to talk seafood. Following his morning interviews, he toured the facility at Big Easy Foods in Lake Charles to see how Louisiana seafood is packed for shipping and talk about the jobs the seafood industry creates for our state. Next up, lunch at Crying Eagle Brewing in Lake Charles where the Lieutenant Governor helped cook an outstanding Louisiana seafood lunch. And then, to wrap it all up, he visited Crawfish Haven/Mrs. Rose’s Bed & Breakfast in Kaplan where you can not only stay in the bed & breakfast but you can go out and help fish the crawfish ponds. Your reward, the crawfish you catch are prepared for dinner with an old-fashioned Louisiana crawfish boil or even crawfish etouffee.
 
Seafood is a major part of our way of life in Louisiana. Fishermen have been celebrating the bounty of the Gulf of Mexico and Louisiana’s inland waterways for more than 400 years. Louisiana is the number one contiguous U.S. producer of shrimp, oysters, crabs, crawfish and alligator in the nation and the nation’s second largest seafood producer and largest commercial fishery.

Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail Launch
Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser will help celebrate the launch of the Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail on October 30, 2017, with three separate ribbon cuttings. The Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail will guide visitors through a variety of significant natural, cultural and historical sites in each parish of the region. The result is a compelling interactive and interpretive experience that will explain to visitors how the water, land, and people of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area connect.

Ribbon cuttings will take place at the following Trail kiosk locations:

9 a.m. - Spring Bayou near Marksville, 398 Spring Bayou Boat Ramp Road, Marksville, LA 71351

12 p.m. - The Atchafalaya Welcome Center – Breaux Bridge, 1 908 Atchafalaya River Highway, Breaux Bridge, LA 70517

3 p.m. - The International Petroleum Museum, 111 1st Street, Morgan City, LA 70380

You can also watch the Facebook Live broadcasts of each ribbon cutting at @AtchafalayaNationalHeritageArea or @LouisianaLtAGov. Find out more about the Trail at http://www.waterheritagetrail.org
Louisiana Book Festival Coming Saturday, October 28
The 14th annual free Louisiana Book Festival returns on Saturday, October 28, to downtown Baton Rouge’s Capitol Park. Featuring more than 250 authors and panelists discussing their books and more than 100 programs, the 2017 festival includes the Young Readers Pavilion, where children and parents can enjoy storytelling, book-related crafts, and performances; Teen HQ, featuring bestselling and award winning young adult authors and activities; live musical performances; cooking demos; scores of author and panel book talks and signings; and a wide variety of book-related activities and exhibitors.
 
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser and State Librarian Rebecca Hamilton kick off the festival with the presentation of the Louisiana Writer Award to children’s author Johnette Downing. The festival will also feature MasterChef Season 7 winner Shaun O’Neale, and punk rock icon and former frontman of Black Flag, Keith Morris.
 
Pre-festival events on Friday, October 27, include half-day WordShops, which offer opportunities for aspiring writers of all levels to work in an intimate setting with renowned Southern authors.

Don’t Forget to Download the Louisiana Book Festival App

Download the FREE Louisiana Book Festival app for on-the-go event schedules, author biographies and more! It's available for iPhone and Android -- just search for "Louisiana Book Festival" in your app store.

For more information on events, registering for WordShops, purchasing tickets for the Authors Party, or on volunteering for the festival, please visit www.louisianabookfestival.org.
Holiday Trail of Lights Celebrates 25 years of Illuminating the Christmas Spirit
This year marks a quarter of a century of holiday spirit illuminating eight towns and cities across central and north Louisiana. The Holiday Trail of Lights kicks off in mid-November and runs through early January. For a 25th year, the Holiday Trail of Lights will create the Christmas spirit with beautiful displays of holiday lights, parades, live music, theater performances, visits from Santa and more.

You can pick your adventure through Alexandria/Pineville, Minden, Monroe/West Monroe, Natchitoches, or Shreveport/Bossier City at www.holidaytrailoflights.com . While there, you can find out more about the trail, plan your own holiday itinerary, and even get information on where to stay.
Southeast Tourism Society Announces New Dates
for Fall Forum
Hurricane Nate forced the Southeast Tourism Society to postpone its 2017 Fall Forum in Biloxi, MS, after Hurricane Nate made landfall along the Gulf Coast the day before the event. The new dates announced for the 2017 Fall Forum will be December 5 & 6, 2017 . The event will still be held at the IP Casino – Resort. If you registered for the October dates, your registration has already been transferred over to the new dates. Hotel reservations will need to be made separately for the December 5 & 6 dates. The deadline is November 10. To make your reservations, go online or call 888-946-2847 and use group code S171362. The room block rate is $65 a night. For more information on the newly announced dates, please click here.
Grade School Students Unveil Baton Rouge Tourism Website
Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students at Southeast Magnet Middle School unveiled a tourism webpage this month that is designed to encourage people to visit Baton Rouge and promote the area as a great place to live. The website www.KidsLoveBatonRouge.com came online on October 7th. 

Students of the magnet program, known as DATA, short for Digital Arts & Technology Academy created the website’s content. Students were tasked with creating a marketing campaign that highlights the area’s food, culture, entertainment and history. There are restaurant reviews written by students of Baton Rouge eateries that includes Brew Ha-Ha, Acme Oyster House and Dempsey’s.

The nine-week project began with a field trip in Baton Rouge that resulted in other write-ups on historic locations such as the Old State Capitol, Magnolia Mound Plantation and the Shaw Center for the Arts.

John Hayman, coordinator of the magnet program told the Baton Rouge Advocate he wanted the website to look like it had been done professionally as opposed to a project for middle school students.

Connecting with Potential Future Tourism Leaders
The Louisiana Office of Tourism spend some time on the campus of the University of New Orleans showcasing all that Louisiana has to offer to prospective undergraduate and graduate students studying Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism, including the exciting career opportunities they will find. Barry Landry and Charlie Whinham brought our Virtual Reality units to the inaugural University of New Orleans Hospitality Expo on October 18 to give students a peak at all the exciting places to promote around Louisiana. They also talked with students about their work in communications for the state and in collaboration with CVBs and Tourist Commissions, as well as talked about the different types of jobs there are in the 4th largest employment sector in Louisiana. The Hospitality Expo was a great chance to connect with future HRT students.
Lake Charles Ranks as Second Best Experience for
Small Destinations
The U.S. Tourism Quality Index recently ranked Lake Charles #2 in the nation for the “experiential quality” for small destinations. The ranking is based on culture, entertainment, sightseeing, sports, adventure, culinary and lodging marked as “very good” or “excellent.”

The top 10 small destinations include: Tallahassee, FL; Lake Charles, LA; Bend, OR; Dothan, AL; Augusta, GA; Greenville, SC; Greensboro, NC; Mesa, AZ.; Pensacola, FL; and Hot Springs, AR.

The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB works diligently to showcase the best of their area through public relations efforts, hosting travel writer conferences as well as implementing hospitality training seminars and social media community trainings. The bureau is extremely active online in promoting partners in tourism in Southwest Louisiana and creating a sense of community online across many platforms.
Shreveport Aquarium Opens November 1
The highly anticipated Shreveport Aquarium is set to make a big splash on November 1 for its grand opening. The former Barnwell Memorial Garden and Art Center is being transformed into a regional hub for marine life education in north Louisiana.

Some of the features of the new facility includes an acrylic tunnel which will allow people to walk through the saltwater tanks teeming with aquatic life. The tank will offer an acrylic chamber where visitors will get a 360-degree inside the tank. There will also be an adjacent classroom for instruction. The classroom will have a window where students will be able to see the fish inside the tunnel exhibit.

A new restaurant called Salt will also be part of the new aquarium. Salt (short for Sea, Air, Land & Time) will be the only riverfront restaurant in downtown Shreveport and will stay open after the aquarium closes for the day. The restaurant will feature riverside and indoor seating, an oyster bar and cocktail bar.

Admission will be $12 for adults and $8 for children. Find out more at: www.ShreveportAquarium.com
A New List Shows New Orleans Isn’t Just a Great Place to Visit
New Orleans has been named one of the six “Best Cities for Digital Nomads 2017” by Citi IO, an urban technology site. According to Web Work Travel, a digital nomad is a person who utilizes different forms of technology to earn a living, for example a blogger; and, New Orleans is on top of its game for this.  Citi IO writes, " New Orleans, Louisiana, may be the best place to go in the United States if you want to feel like you’re visiting another country without ever leaving the mainland. The food alone is enough to bring people from all over to the bustling city. Additionally, New Orleans makes a great place for digital nomads, because it’s a city well-known for supporting companies involved in oil and energy, transportation, healthcare, finances and defense.” To read more, please visit Citi IO
New Orleans’ Hotel Offerings Grow Again
New Orleans has recently added The Cambria Hotel & Suites to its list of renowned hotel accommodations. Located on Tchoupitoulas Street in the Downtown Warehouse and Central Business Districts, its proximity to the French Quarter, Riverwalk and the New Orleans Convention Center is extremely ideal for all guests. In addition, the Cambria also provides additional meeting or reception spaces for groups attending events at the Convention Center. Also, the Cambria New Orleans is a Choice Hotel, so guests can earn Choice Privileges hotel rewards. For more information, please visit The Cambria Hotel & Suites or call (504) 524-7770. 
Louis Armstrong International Airport Lands in the #2 Spot for Growth
According to recently released data by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Louis Armstrong International Airport in New Orleans is the second-fastest growing airport in the country from 2006-2016. During that time, enplanements increased by 78 percent, trailing only Dallas Love Field where enplanements grew a staggering 119 percent. In 2016, New Orleans had 5,569,705 total enplanements, 15 percent higher than pre-Katrina levels indicating not just a return of flights lost post-Katrina, but also an influx of new flights to the region. In addition, Louis Armstrong International now has 56 non-stop flights, including six international. British Airways has also recently added a fifth day to its non-stop 787 Dreamliner service to Heathrow. The new terminal, scheduled to open in 2019 will include added gates to accommodate expected future growth.
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.

And, as Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser and the state celebrate Louisiana seafood during National Seafood Month in October, share your experience with the Louisiana Seafood Board by tagging #LouisianaSeafood on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Upcoming Meetings & Events
  • October 30: Atchafalaya Water Heritage Trail Launch
  • November 5-8: Louisiana Culinary Trails Media Mission, New York, NY
  • November 10: LACVB Meeting, Lake Charles, LA
  • 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 13: Mardi Gras Day
  • March 21-22: Destination Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
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.

  • Marketing Representative 1 - Louisiana Office of Tourism
  • Custodian 1 - Louisiana Office of Tourism
  • Electrician Foreman - 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