Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
November 1, 2013
Plans unveiled to mark Battle of New Orleans bicentennial

WVUE Fox 8 - Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and the Battle of New Orleans Bicentennial Commission are unveiling plans for commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of New Orleans. Events will be held throughout the state next year to commemorate the time Andrew Jackson and troops defeated the British army in Chalmette. Events including museum exhibits and re-enactments will culminate with a formal commemoration Jan. 8, 2015, the 200th anniversary of the Battle. In addition to events, Lt. Governor Dardenne unveiled the 2014 general-issue license plate that features the Battle of New Orleans Commission logo and www.LouisianaTravel.com.

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne and David Peralta, St. Bernard Parish President,
unveil plans for the Battle of New Orleans commemorations

  Louisiana's involvement in Brand USA profiled in USA Today
Louisiana's and other states' involvement in Brand USA, a federal initiative aimed at boosting international travel to the U.S., was recently profiled in USA Today. Created as part of legislation signed by President Barack Obama in 2010, Brand USA promotes all 50 states via websites and promotional materials. The program is funded by private/public sector matching funds and a $10 fee international visitors pay when they enter the U.S. Louisiana, however, is among a small group including California and South Carolina that put in additional funding for more marketing perks. In an interview, Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne said returns from Louisiana's extra buy-in include a unique billboard campaign in London, and online promotional tools in multiple languages that are featured on the Discover America websites.

  New Orleans rated a top U.S. city by Condé Nast Traveler
New Orleans placed seventh in the Top 10 Cities in the United States and readers rated The Roosevelt New Orleans as New Orleans' top hotel. Condé Nast Traveler unveiled the results of its 26th annual Readers' Choice Awards, ranking the best cities, islands, cruise lines, airlines, hotels and resorts in the world. This year, a record-breaking 79,268 readers participated in the survey, casting 1.3 million votes.

  Casinos report drop in revenue throughout Louisiana
The Times - State-licensed casinos in Louisiana won $182.2 million in September-nearly 9 percent less than a year earlier. The drop was nearly statewide and included all types of casinos, according to figures compiled by State Police and released Wednesday by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board. The single exception was the Isle of Capri in Lake Charles. It won $10.9 million - 3.4 percent more than in September 2012.

Hal Moser and Peggy Benoit   Louisiana DMOs attend The Rally
The Rally, an RV gathering sponsored by Good Sam and Camping World, was held at the Atlanta Motor Speedway from Oct. 17 to Oct. 20. The four day event drew more than 5,800 attendees with more than 2,700 RVs. In addition to RVs, there was equipment, accessories and continuous seminars throughout the four day event. Hal Moser with Houma Area CVB and Peggy Benoit with Lafourche Area CVB represented the Louisiana Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus while Jonathan Taylor with Livingston Parish CVB and Ramon Gomez with West Baton Rouge CVB represented Southeast Louisiana Gumbo.

Abita's Pecan Harvest Ale   Fox News praises a Louisiana beer and a scenic drive in recent stories
FoxNews.com touted a Louisiana beer and a national and state scenic byway in recent features. The Abita Brewing Company's Pecan Harvest Ale was named a "Top 10 Fall Beer" in a piece published Oct. 14. The pecan beer mentioned in the article is one of three harvest season beers brewed by Abita.

Oak Alley Plantation
from River Road, Vacherie
In an Oct. 22 story, the website listed the Great River Road as one of five spectacular fall drives in America. Louisiana offerings mentioned include riverboat casinos and cypress swamps. Another top five fall drive found in close proximity to Louisiana is the Natchez Trace Parkway.

  Hotel buying spree continues in New Orleans
New Orleans City Business - As the New Orleans area regains its footing as a top destination for tourists, conventions and major events such as the Super Bowl, real estate analysts say the city has become a targeted market for major hotel acquisitions. Investors have acquired 12 properties, all but two in downtown New Orleans, for what one industry watcher calls "near record prices." Real estate analyst Wade Ragas notes that New Orleans has been among the top three U.S. tourist markets throughout the past year in average daily rate, a standard industry performance measure. Based on that performance, investors are paying a premium to acquire New Orleans hotels.

  Shreveport birder helps pen La. birding guide
The Times - Birding enthusiasts opting for a trip to the Sportsman's Paradise have a new road map to follow, thanks to a recently released book written by a Shreveport physician, a Natchitoches attorney and a former LSU graduate student. Released by the American Birding Association, A Birder's Guide to Louisiana is a 275-page book designed as an instructional manual about locating the many resident and migratory birds spending time in the state. The book covers hot birding sites in various sections of the state such as southwest Louisiana, including Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge and Cameron Prairie National Wildlife Refuge; the Lafayette area. including Palmetto Island State Park and Avery Island-Jungle Gardens; the Baton Rouge area, including LSU and the Morganza Spillway; southeast Louisiana, including Grand Isle and the Bonnet Carré Spillway; central Louisiana including Kisatchie forest and Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge; and northeast Louisiana, including Upper Ouachita National Wildlife Refuge and Poverty Point State Historic Site.

  Shutdown costly for travel industry
Travel Weekly - As the U.S. government got back to business, the travel and tourism industry assessed its losses and began to look at ways to minimize the impact of any future federal government shutdown. In a letter to President Obama and Congress earlier this month, the U.S. Travel Association estimated that a partial government shutdown would cost the country $152 million a day in lost travel-related activity. With the shutdown lasting 16 days, the expected losses total more than $2.4 billion.

  Brand USA to launch road trips campaign with Google
Skift.com - As part of a three-phase Discover America campaign, which is slated to launch in November, Google will work with Brand USA on an interactive Discover America map geared toward geo-referencing content to show accessible activities for international guests. Visitors will be able to access and design itineraries by searching and viewing amenities and experiences on a map rather than in a typical list form. Google's Zagat unit will also contribute content.

  Expedia.com to showcase HomeAway vacation rentals
MarketWatch - Two online travel leaders, HomeAway and Expedia.com, recently announced an agreement intended to expand online travel accommodation options by listing HomeAway vacation rental properties on Expedia.com. The pilot-expected to launch early next year-will include properties throughout the U.S. and Mexico, and expands upon the current relationship with BedandBreakfast.com also operated by HomeAway.

  Business travel spending on the rise
USA Today - Spending on business travel is expected to rebound next year, according to a new forecast from the Global Business Travel Association. But the partial shutdown of the federal government could weaken the projected bounce. Spending by U.S. businesses is expected to increase by 7.2 percent next year, to $288.8 billion, with the number of trips taken inching up by 1.6 percent to 459.2 million.

Upcoming Meetings & Events   Upcoming meetings & events

If you have comments or suggestions for future issues of Louisiana Travel Pulse, contact Jay Tusa at jtusa@crt.la.gov or 225.342.8142.

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