Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
February 9, 2015
2015 Official Louisiana Inspiration Guide

The 2015 Official Louisiana Inspiration Guide is now available. In partnership with the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, the Louisiana Office of Tourism has produced a comprehensive, eye-catching guide that features all our great state has to offer visitors. Consistent with the 2015 Louisiana Tourism ad campaign, the guide celebrates Louisiana cuisine. If you would like to request a supply of guides contact Valerie Lewis vlewis@crt.la.gov at 225.342.8100.

Louisiana Inspiration Guide
Louisiana Inspiration Guide

infOcus   Be a part of Louisiana inFocus on Travel Industry Today
As part of its Brand USA marketing efforts in Canada for 2015, the Louisiana Office of Tourism will be focusing on a special promotion with popular Canadian e-news publication Travel Industry Today, to bring Louisiana to the attention of 21,000 travel industry professionals every weekday morning. Travel Industry Today's Louisiana inFocus includes news, images, videos and information about the richness and variety of choices Louisiana has to offer visitors including events, entertainment, accommodations, history, music and cuisine. Louisiana inFocus will run from March 1 to Dec. 31, 2015, and offers destination partners the ability to participate either monthly, for a three month-duration or for the whole 10 months at special rates. For rates and information check Louisiana inFocus Special or contact Jen Savedra jen@travelindustrytoday.com. Space is limited. The materials deadline for the March 1 launch issue is Feb. 20, 2015.

Louisiana NTA Delegates
Louisiana NTA Delegates
  60 Louisiana delegates sell state at NTA Travel Exchange in New Orleans
A Louisiana delegation of 60 from the Louisiana Office of Tourism and DMOs statewide conducted 40 appointments at the National Tour Association's Travel Exchange in New Orleans in January. The Louisiana Travel Promotion Association oversaw four familiarization tours statewide for trade professionals, and special events at Mardi Gras World and the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas exposed operators to authentic Louisiana music and food. NTA's membership includes more than 1,500 tour operators who buy and package travel abroad as well as sellers representing 600 destinations and 1,500 tour suppliers, the largest travel product network of any association in the industry. The collective consumer base is every U.S. state, Canadian provinces and more than 40 countries.

LTPA 2015 Louey Awards
LTPA 2015 Louey Awards
  Congratulations to the Louey Award Winners
Fourteen members of Louisiana's tourism industry were recognized for their tremendous efforts to advance the state's tourism industry by the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, and more than 190 of their peers at the annual membership luncheon on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at the Cypress Bend Golf and Conference Resort in Many. Congratulations to the following recipients:
  • Outstanding CVB/TC of the Year, budget up to $249,999: Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission
  • Outstanding CVB/TC of the Year, budget of $250,000 - $749,999: Sabine Parish Tourist & Recreation Commission
  • Outstanding CVB/TC of the Year, budget of $750,000 and above: Monroe-West Monroe CVB
  • Tourism Campaign/Promotion of the Year: "Follow Your NOLA" marketing campaign, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
  • Festival/Event of the Year: Natchitoches Tricentennial Celebration
  • Travel Attraction of the Year: San Francisco Plantation in Garyville
  • Accommodations of the Year, Full-Service Lodging: Hilton Garden Inn/Homewood Suites in Bossier City
  • Accommodations of the Year, Limited-Service Lodging: Carmel Inn and Suites in Thibodaux
  • Accommodations of the Year, Bed & Breakfast: Stockade Bed and Breakfast in Baton Rouge
  • Campground/RV Park of the Year: Cypress Bend Park in Many
  • Restaurateur of the Year: Michael Krajicek of Botsky's Premium Hotdogs in Lake Charles
  • Governmental Friend of Tourism: Senator Francis Thompson of District 34 representing Concordia, Richland, East Carroll, Madison, Morehouse, Tensas and Ouachita parishes
  • Victor Profis Memorial Travel Media Award: Eric Hoffman, executive vice president and COO of Hoffman Media
  • Will Mangham Lifetime Achievement Award: Marion Fox, executive director, Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission


LTPA Board of Directors
LTPA Board of Directors
  LTPA announces new officers, board members and task team chairs
The Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, the state's tourism trade association, recently announced its officers, board of directors and task team chairs for 2015 at its annual membership luncheon in Many.

New officers include:
  • Chairman: Linda Curtis-Sparks, director, Sabine Parish Tourist & Recreation Commission
  • Vice Chair: Phil Frost, director, Baton Rouge Zoo
  • Secretary: Mark Romig, president/CEO, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
  • Treasurer: Travis Napper, president/CEO, Ruston Lincoln Parish CVB
  • Past Chair: Marion Fox, executive director, Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission
New directors include:
  • Kerry Andersen, director of public relations, Pinnacle Entertainment
  • Cory Bahr, chef/owner, Restaurant Cotton and Nonna
  • Benjamin Berthelot, president/CEO, Lafayette CVC
  • Kevin Kelly, owner, Houmas House Plantation and Gardens
  • Eric Hoffman (associate appointee), executive vice president and COO Hoffman Media
Returning directors include:
  • Marc Becker, area director of marketing, New Orleans Hotel Collection
  • Stacy Brown, president, Shreveport-Bossier CTB
  • Sandra Davis, owner, KONRIKO/Conrad Rice Mill
  • Janice DeLerno, owner , The Stockade Bed and Breakfast
  • Lynn Dorsey, executive director, Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Kyle Edmiston, assistant secretary, Louisiana Office of Tourism
  • Shelley Johnson, executive director, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB
  • Norman Marmillion, owner, Laura: A Creole Plantation
  • James Ramsaur, director, Lincoln Parish Park
  • Alice Scarborough, executive director, Kent Plantation House
  • Lynette Tanner, owner , Frogmore Cotton Plantation & Gins
  • Denise Thevenot, executive director, Louisiana Tax Free Shopping
New task team chairs include:
  • Advocacy: Marion Fox, executive director, Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission
  • Attractions: James Ramsaur, director, Lincoln Parish Park
  • Finance: Travis Napper, president/CEO, Ruston Lincoln Parish CVB
  • Marketing: Katie Guasco, director of marketing & communications, Visit Baton Rouge
  • Membership/Education: Andy Le Boeuf, area director of sales and marketing, NOLA Hotel Group


  Pick Your Passion vests available for trade show delegates
Purple fleece vests with the Louisiana: Pick your Passion logo are available for DMO delegates who will attend Travel South Showcase in Shreveport. Vests are $30 for an unfitted unisex design and $45 for a women's fitted design. Orders can be submitted using the downloadable form. To submit forms or for more details contact Mary Williams mpwilliams@crt.la.gov or call 225.342.8207.

David Bradley, VP Sales and Services Shreveport-Bossier CTB
David Bradley
VP Sales and Services
Shreveport-Bossier CTB
  Shreveport-Bossier CTB names David Bradley VP sales and services
The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau is pleased to announce that David Bradley has been hired as the vice president of sales and services. Bradley will lead five staff members in selling Shreveport-Bossier's group tours, convention and meeting space and 10,000-plus hotel rooms. Bradley and his team will attract new business and maintain client relationships through direct sales, customer and facility relationships, trade shows and client events.

Smoking ban goes into effect in New Orleans
New Oreans passes
smoking ban
  New Orleans passes far-reaching smoking ban
Smoking tobacco and electronic cigarettes is now prohibited in New Orleans bars, restaurants, casinos, private clubs and indoor and outdoor public places, according to law passed in January by the New Orleans City Council. The very detailed ordinance lists types of areas that are now smoke-free, ranging from schools and colleges to ATMs and automotive service lines such as drive-through banking and restaurants. Smoking will only be permitted in hotels that allow it and private homes and vehicles, with restrictions tied to childcare. Violating the ordinance, which kicks in later this spring, carries fines ranging from $100 to $500.

Smokehouse Porter plays at the Blues Room
"Smokehouse" Porter plays at the Blues Room
  Baton Rouge blues scene covered in The New York Times
While Baton Rouge's 20th century reputation as a major blues music hub has waned, there is still a solid scene to experience according to the The New York Times. A January travel section story talked about nightspots including Tabby's Blues Box, Teddy's Juke Joint and Phil Brady's and said "with a mix of the old and the new, it's surprising to discover that not only are the blues far from dead; in some places, the blues are quietly thriving."

Driskill Mountain, Bienville Parish
Driskill Mountain,
Bienville Parish
  Driskill Mountain covered in CNN piece on easy hikes
A recent CNN travel story recommending easy hikes via states' highest points included Driskill Mountain in northwest Louisiana. The story, titled Peak-bagging for couch potatoes, called the mountain moniker "a misnomer for sure" and went on to describe the site in Bienville Parish as a "wooden bump." Driskill Mountain sits at 535 feet above sea level, is accessible to the public by marked trails and is a popular stop for hikers who target states' highest peaks.

Millenials   Millennials drawn to travel agents' experience
In 2014, 28 percent of millennials used a traditional travel agent, compared to only 13 percent of Baby Boomers and 15 percent of Generation X. Analysts note the rate of use by millennials is attributed to the group being more adventurous travelers, wanting to travel to places off the beaten path which requires a third party to help them work through the details.

Emerging Trends   5 emerging trends on how mobile and data is changing travel industry
EyeForTravel, an online travel intelligence provider, identified five new trends emerging in reaction to the increasing use of data and mobile by the airline, hotel, OTA and travel industry. This infographic outlines the more subtle changes that are happening at organizational, business model and financial levels.

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.

Facebook Twitter Flikr YouTube Flikr