Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
April 14, 2015
Lt. Gov. Dardenne leads La. tourism to third record-breaking year

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne announced that in 2014 Louisiana attracted 28.7 million visitors, a 5 percent increase over 2013, resulting in $11.2 billion in total visitor spending and $836 million in state tax revenue. The revenue generated through domestic and international visitors represents a more than 38-to-1 return on investment of state funding.

State Seal of Louisiana Louisiana is also leading the way with its online tourism presence. LouisianaTravel.com ranks fifth among state tourism websites with more than 2.2 million unique visitors, representing a 25 percent annual increase, and 4.9 million page views, representing an 18 percent annual increase. Louisiana Travel's social media efforts ranked fourth among state tourism offices. Each platform experienced significant growth including a 201 percent increase of views on YouTube and 96 percent increase in Twitter followers.

Louisiana travel industry delegates with U.S. Congressman Dr. Ralph Abraham
Louisiana travel industry delegates with U.S. Congressmen Dr. Ralph Abraham (above) and Garret Graves (below)
Louisiana travel industry delegates with U.S. Congressman Garret Graves
  Louisiana tourism delegation calls on Washington D.C.
Kyle Edmiston, Louisiana Office of Tourism chief; Darienne Mobley, LTPA co-executive director; and Megan Hartman, Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB director of communications represented Louisiana at U.S. Travel Association Destination Capitol Hill. They were joined by more than 300 colleagues who met with Congressional members from 41 states over two days in Washington D.C. to discuss travel and tourism priorities. Louisiana industry delegates also met with the state's two newest lawmakers, Garret Graves and Dr. Ralph Abraham.

Travel South USA Domestic Showcase   More than 600 attend Travel South USA Domestic Showcase
More than 600 travel buyers, suppliers and journalists attended the 33rd annual Travel South USA Domestic Showcase March 22 – 25 in Shreveport. Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne provided the keynote address at the Louisiana-hosted opening address March 23. Subsequent sessions celebrated the 50th anniversary of TSUSA, a 12-Southern-state alliance that markets the region to domestic and foreign travelers. LOT representatives met with about 100 travel buyers and journalists, and 27 journalists attended an LOT-hosted five-day statewide coach tour. TSUSA's sister showcase event catering to the international travel market was held in New Orleans earlier this year.

Mike Prejean
Mike Prejean
  Prejean appointed to NAJ Strategic Advisory Council
Mike Prejean, Louisiana Office of Tourism international program specialist, has been appointed to the North American Journeys Strategic Advisory Council by NAJ founder and CEO Jake Steinman. The formation of the council was announced at ITB and comprises thought leaders and industry professionals who represent various corners of the tour and travel industry.

Calendar of Events   Quarterly calendar of events submission
The Louisiana Office of Tourism is producing its third quarter calendar of events, which includes events from July through September 2015. To include an event in the printed calendar, submit event information to the online calendar via the submit event link at the bottom of LouisianaTravel.com by 5 p.m. April 27. For additional information or assistance contact Lynne Coxwell lcoxwell@crt.la.gov or call 225.342.2876.

Kimmie Carlos of New Orleans Plantation Country and Christy Chachere of Visit Baton Rouge at STS Marketing College graduation
  Two Louisiana destination marketers receive TMP certification
Kimmie Carlos, executive director of New Orleans Plantation Country, and Christy Chachere, communications coordinator of Visit Baton Rouge, have earned the Travel Marketing Professional designation from Southeast Tourism Society. The TMP program offers tourism professionals throughout the Southeast a broad-based curriculum in tourism marketing and management. Students earn their certifications after completing the STS Marketing College three-year program. Certifications were presented March 31, during a graduation luncheon at the STS Spring Symposium in Charlotte, North Carolina.

STS Marketing College   Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College
The STS Marketing College is an educational program for members of the tourism industry in the Southeast. This year's program will be August 2 - 7, at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega. Students will experience a broad-based curriculum of courses designed to teach marketing techniques from all facets of the tourism industry. Professors are working, experienced professionals from throughout the U.S. who bring real-world knowledge and expertise to the classroom. Students who attend all three years of Marketing College receive a Travel Marketing Professional certification.

Miles Media   Miles Marketing College scholarship
Miles Media is partnering with the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association and offering a one-year tuition scholarship to STS Marketing College. The scholarship is open to anyone employed in the state's tourism industry. The deadline to apply is April 20, and the scholarship recipient will be notified in May. For additional information contact Cindy Tullier ctullier@ltpa.org.

Destination Marketing Association International   DMAI's 30 Under 30 program now accepting applications
DMAI is accepting applications for its 30 Under 30 program. The program focuses on identifying and developing the talent of destination marketing professionals who are 30 years old or younger through increased access to top-level networking and professional development. The deadline to apply is April 29.

Atchafalaya   Huffington Post: Atchafalaya a 'must-visit' swamp
The Atchafalaya National Heritage Area was recently included in a Huffington Post article about five "must visit" swamps around the globe. Authors Elizabeth Stark and Brian Campbell said the Atchafalaya Basin is "home to pretty much everything the word 'swamp' conjures-alligators, Spanish moss, egrets and bald cypress." They also praised the region's cultural diversity and traveler offerings. Also on the list were Florida's Everglades and swamps in Brazil, Botswana and Indonesia.

Meetings   Top 10 Meeting Trends for 2015
Benchmark Hospitality, which has released its list of the Top 10 Meeting Trends for 2015, predicts that hotels and meeting planners are likely to see rising group rates, customized meeting packages and an increased focus on experiential meetings during the balance of 2015. The list includes an emphasis on meeting attendees' experiences, increased connectivity with Wi-Fi, unique venues and vast meeting spaces.

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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