Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
May 5, 2015
Lt. Governor traveling state for Tourism Week

Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne Monday kicked off a 20-stop statewide tour celebrating National Tourism Week and the industry's economic significance in Louisiana. Lt. Governor Dardenne will talk with industry stakeholders and the general public about impacts made by nearly 30 million Louisiana visitors in 2014 who spent over $11 billion and generated $836 million in state tax revenue. Last year marked a third consecutive record-breaking year for Louisiana tourism, and the fiscal result was a 38-to-1 return on investment for Louisiana taxpayers. Each day's schedule and event recaps can be followed via the Lt. Governor's Facebook page.

From left: LOT Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston, OLG Deputy Communication Director Cami Geisman, OLG Chief of Staff Cathy Berry and Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.
From left: LOT Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston, OLG Deputy Communication Director Cami Geisman, OLG Chief of Staff Cathy Berry and Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.

Chef Cory Bahr
Chef Cory Bahr
photo: Margaret Croft
The News-Star
  Cory Bahr receives national Food and Wine honor
The title People's Best New Chef was recently bestowed upon northeast Louisiana chef and restaurateur Cory Bahr by Food and Wine. Bahr, who owns Cotton and Nonna restaurants in Monroe, was chosen from 100 chefs nationwide by receiving the most votes on the magazine's website. Seven of the top 10 Gulf Coast chefs were from Louisiana.

Antoine's Restaurant - New Oreans   Travel South USA's statewide media trip producing numerous clips
A travel media research trip throughout Louisiana held as part of Travel South USA's recent Showcase event in Shreveport has begun producing notable stories. In all, 27 journalists from throughout the U.S. did site research in Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Lake Charles, Monroe, Natchitoches, New Orleans, Plantation Country, St. Landry Parish and Shreveport. Clips have surfaced so far on many participants' websites and blogs and in outlets including The Philadelphia Sun and Ansa.it, an Italian wire service.
The Philadelphia Sun
ReadUpOnIt Blog
ANSA.it video

Black Bear Golf Course
Black Bear Golf Course
  Golfweek names Black Bear state's top public course again
For the sixth straight year, Black Bear Golf Club in Delhi has been named Louisiana's top public access golf course by Golfweek magazine. The course and resort, operated by the Louisiana Office of State Parks, sits on 300 acres and offers varied topography challenges including creeks and heavily-treed creek bottoms. Black Bear is a member of Louisiana's Audubon Golf Trail. Two other AGT courses, TPC Louisiana in Avondale and Carter Plantation in Springfield, claimed top-five spots in Golfweek's list.

Adventure Point - Creole Nature Trail   Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point now open
The Creole Nature Trail Adventure Point is now open in Sulphur. The $2 million, 5,000 square-foot facility on Ruth Street offers free admission to exhibits that showcase the flora and fauna of the Creole Nature Trail as well as the culture, food and music of the region. The museum provides visitor services on the western access point to the 180-mile national All-American Road.

Miss USA pageant 2014   Miss USA Pageant returning to Baton Rouge
The Miss USA pageant will return to Baton Rouge in July, the Miss Universe Organization recently announced. Baton Rouge hosted the 2014 pageant, and it garnered 5.5 million TV viewers and a flurry of social media activity regarding Baton Rouge as a travel destination. Final pageant rounds and the crowning of the winner will take place at the Baton Rouge River Center on July 12, and it will be televised live and nationally on NBC and Univision.

Lafayette sign in Parc San Souci   Lafayette park attraction targets social media promotion
Lafayette's downtown Parc Sans Souci now has the city's name-missing the "Y"-spelled out in six-foot-tall letters. Visitors are encouraged to photograph themselves in the missing letter's position to create a personal postcard for social media use. The public art project's hope is that visitors will share their snapshots via social media using the hashtag #YLafayette. Organizers say the display showcases and promotes Lafayette's downtown character while leaving no question as to the photo subject's physical location.

Flyboard   Shreveport-Bossier to host first U.S.-based flyboard championship
The Red River in downtown Shreveport and Bossier City will be the first U.S. site to host the North American Flyboard Championship. The free admission event, slated June 4 - 6, will see more than 70 of the world's best flyboarders competing for $30,000 in cash prizes. The payout-the highest ever for the event-may fuel record-setting attendance for the event, organizers say. The Shreveport-Bossier event is only the second in North America. The 2014 NAFC was hosted in Toronto.

Literary Legacy   Louisiana's literary legacy a focus in The New York Times
The New York Times recently published an article focusing on Louisiana's rich literature history. Author Jennifer Moses used subjects and locales explored by the works of authors including John Kennedy Toole, James Lee Burke and Tennessee Williams as a template for traveling the state in areas including New Orleans, New Iberia, the Northshore and Vacherie.

Louisiana:  Pick Your Passion   Tourism slogan effectiveness subject of Skift.com piece
Almost every state has a tourism slogan, but their ultimate roles in attracting visitors is open to debate. To test consumer awareness, Skift.com asked 500 random respondents through Google Consumer Surveys to identify the state associated with "_______ Is For Lovers," one of the oldest and most famous tourism slogans. About half, or 52 percent, correctly chose Virginia, with older respondents being most likely and younger least likely to answer correctly. Skift.com said it was an interesting data point given the considerable focus that brands have on millennial travelers.

travel web sites   Flood of travel websites may be driving up demand for human travel agents
The Internet is teeming with travel websites that can lock in the lowest air fare, find you a plane with onboard Wi-Fi and even hook you up with a travel companion. But even with so many online sites to choose from, there is a growing demand for human travel agents.

mobile travel bookings   Mobile travel bookings continue to grow worldwide
U.S. consumers are becoming more comfortable using their mobile devices to book travel, with smartphones leading the field in terms of usage.

Amazon Destinations   Amazon launches a new travel service
Amazon has launched a new travel site that encourages people to get into the car, not hop a plane. Amazon Destinations, with the tagline "Hit the road: Book local getaways," is emphasizing local getaways that are within a short drive from home.

Uber App   Uber's popularity surges; business travelers avoiding taxis
Business travelers are bypassing the taxi queue with greater frequency, choosing instead ride-hailing services like Uber. A new report by expense management system provider Certify shows that 47 percent of the ground transportation rides by its users in March were through Uber.

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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