Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
June 3, 2015
Lt. Gov. travels the state celebrating National Travel and Tourism Week

For the third consecutive year, Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne traveled throughout the state during National Tourism Week. The 21-stop tour included awards luncheons, receptions and news conferences to create awareness about the tourism industry and its positive impact on Louisiana's economy.

Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and LOT Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston with Lake Charles tourism delegation.
Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne and LOT Assistant Secretary Kyle Edmiston with Lake Charles tourism delegation.

  Brand USA series features Connick Jr. as Louisiana guide
Brand USA's documentary series focusing on iconic American destinations will highlight Louisiana in May and feature Harry Connick Jr. as the local tour guide. Produced in partnership with Louisiana, the 30-minute Discover America with Peter Greenberg episode featuring New Orleans and Lafayette will be distributed by Brand USA's overseas media partners. The series' goal is to show global visitors the unique and varied landscape and culture of America's prime destinations.

  Spikes in LOT mobile device, social media traffic noted
Today's travelers are shifting to mobile devices and social media as trip-planning tools, and changes to LouisianaTravel.com in response to the trends are working. A case study on recent changes implemented on the state's online platforms show significant improvement in mobile traffic, new user traffic, bounce rates and social media traffic.

Overall Site Traffic
  • Bounce Rate Improved 20 percent
Mobile Traffic
  • Up 149 percent
  • New user traffic up by 140 percent
  • Bounce rate dropped 33 percent (from 71 percent to 48 percent)
Social Media Engagement
  • Facebook traffic increased 188 percent
  • Twitter traffic improved 624 percent


Sherrell Bozeman, president of the Alexandria Garden Club;  Martha McBurney and Mack McBurney, WWII veterans; Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne; Jill Curtis; and Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis
Sherrell Bozeman, president of the Alexandria Garden Club; Martha McBurney and Mack McBurney, WWII veterans; Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne; Jill Curtis; and Maj. Gen. Glenn Curtis
  New Blue Star Highway marker unveiled in Alexandria
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne unveiled a new Blue Star Highway marker April 30 at the I-49 Welcome Center. The marker is dedicated to past and present service members in Central Louisiana. At the event Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne addressed the importance of honoring and remembering our veterans.

Travel South USA Showcase   Registration open for TSUSA International Showcase
Early registration is now open for Travel South USA's fourth International Showcase Nov. 30 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The three-day event offers Southern DMOs pre-scheduled appointments with more than 80 international buyers and U.S. receptive operators. The early registration deadline is Sept. 1. Visit TravelSouthUSA.org for more information.

Fort Polk   Ft. Polk to host travel promotion event for soldiers, families
Fort Polk, the Vernon Parish home of more than 40,000 active and retired soldiers and their families, will host its first Travel Soiree Sept. 19, an event for nearby DMOs to share information on travel opportunities. The midday event will take place at the Warrior Community Activity Center in Leesville. For more information, contact Heidi Sesera at Heidi.e.sesera.naf@mail.mil.

Ralph Calhoun, executive director, Biedenharn Museum and Gardens
Megan Ryburn, tourism sales manager, River Parishes Tourist Commission
Two STS Marketing College scholarships awarded
Louisiana Travel Promotion Association and Miles Marketing Destinations selected Ralph Calhoun, executive director of the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens, and Megan Ryburn, tourism sales manager for the River Parishes Tourist Commission, to receive scholarship to the 2015 STS Marketing College at the University of North Georgia in Dahlonega, Georgia, Aug. 2 - 7. The STS Marketing College is a three-year educational program for members of the tourism industry in the Southeast. A broad-based curriculum of courses designed to teach marketing techniques from all facets of the tourism industry is offered. Students who attend all three years of Marketing College receive a Travel Marketing Professional certification.

Shining Example Awards   STS Shining Example Awards
The Shining Example Awards recognize outstanding contributions in tourism in the Southeastern United States. In conjunction with the STS Fall Meeting, STS honors those that have advanced the cause of travel and tourism. Nomination categories include: Escape to the Southeast Travel Attraction of the Year, Tourism Office of the Year, State Tourism Office of the Year, Governmental Tourism Leadership Award, Top 20 Event/Festival of the Year, Beacon Award, Rising Star Award, Best Marketing Award, Best Nice Marketing Award, Partnership Award and Tourism for Tomorrow Award. To nominate, send completed nomination form, one-page letter, supporting materials and entry fee to: STS Shining Example Awards, Southeast Tourism Society 555 Sun Valley Drive, Suite E-5, Roswell, Georgia 30076.

Chef Mike Brewer and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne Chef Mike Brewer and Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne   Brewer crowned King of Louisiana Seafood
Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne announced chef Mike Brewer of The Sammich in New Orleans as the 2015 King of Louisiana Seafood. Brewer earned the title at the eighth annual Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off presented by the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board. His dish of sheepshead nachos with bacon fat tartar sauce and charred corn salsa earned him the top spot. Chef Lyle Broussard of Jack Daniel's Bar & Grill in Lake Charles placed second and chef Michael Nelson of GW Fins in New Orleans came in third. Brewer will represent Louisiana in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off Aug. 8. For more information, visit GreatAmericanSeafoodCookOff.com.

  Poverty Point featured in New York Times family travel article
Poverty Point World Heritage site was recently included in an article in The New York Times showcasing 20 family-friendly travel ideas nationwide.

Kenny Chesney headlines day one of Bayou Country Superfest
Kenny Chesney headlines day one of Bayou Country Superfest
  Bayou Country Superfest draws solidly despite weather woes
Organizers deemed Bayou Country Superfest and the Taylor Swift 1989 Tour stop in Baton Rouge a success despite Sunday's rain delay and weather threats looming during Memorial Day weekend. The Tiger Stadium event featured performances by Miranda Lambert, Blake Shelton, Kenny Chesney and other notable national country acts drawing an estimated 125,000 fans, festival producers say.

SAVOR   Two craft brewers, noted restaurant picked for SAVOR promotion in D.C.
Bayou Teche Brewing and NOLA Brewing will be among select craft breweries nationwide participating at SAVOR: An American Craft Beer & Food Experience next month in Washington, D.C. Bayou Teche Brewing will be one of 73 brewers in the main SAVOR event, pairing its brews with select dishes. The Arnaudville brewery will then join NOLA at a limited admission "Salon at the Savor" event, where Louisiana's Creole and Cajun cultures will be presented to only 30 ticket holders through select brews and food by New Orleans' Cochon.

Chef Alon Shaya
Chef Alon Shaya
  Shaya is latest Beard award recipient from NOLA
Alon Shaya, chef and co-owner of New Orleans restaurants Domenica, Pizza Domenica and Shaya, is the winner of this year's James Beard Foundation award for Best Chef: South. Shaya edged finalists including New Orleans' Justin Devillier of La Petite Grocery and Balise, and Slade Rushing of Brennan's. The Beard Awards are among America's most prestigious for restaurants and chefs, and New Orleans has garnered more than 20 awards since the program started in 1991.

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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