Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
February 10, 2016
Lieutenant Governor Nungesser delivers first address to LTPA

Lieutenant Governor Nungesser gave his first address to the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association at their annual membership luncheon in Lake Charles on Thursday, January 28 to over 250 attendees. He praised the LTPA and the tourism industry for their ongoing commitment to attract visitors to the state of Louisiana.
Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser addresses the annual LTPA membership luncheon in Lake Charles
Nungesser expressed his enthusiasm for tourism and his determination to bring together leaders from all over the state to gather their ideas. He pledged to meet with legislators and local officials to secure their support for tourism and related revenue generating options statewide. Nungesser explained that we will certainly face challenges in the near future, but we must protect tourism funding and think outside the box for innovative ways to move projects forward and create opportunities such as public private partnerships. He highlighted the need to focus on smaller areas around the state that have often felt left out. He also, encouraged visitors to Louisiana to travel every corner of the state to experience many of Louisiana's treasures. Nungesser discussed his goals to grow tourism, as tourism dollars are something the state can truly rely on for incoming funding in a time when the oilfield is inevitably declining. He also had the privilege to present the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy class with their awards for completion of this exceptional leadership program and had the privilege to honor the Louey award members at the event. It was an exciting day filled with tremendous examples of tourism leadership and passion from all over the state. The overall resounding message the Lieutenant Governor proclaimed was there is no greater time then now to invest in tourism. For more information related to the Lieutenant Governor's address at LTPA please contact Jessica Ragusa, at jragusa@crt.la.gov.

  Cooperative Marketing Program Applications Available
Through the Cooperative Marketing Program (CMP), the Louisiana Office of Tourism supports the promotion of tourism in Louisiana by providing grants to Louisiana-based convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), tourist commissions, and other eligible entities for the placement of qualifying advertisements in eligible media outlets. FY 17 applications are now available on LOT's Industry Partners page. Application deadline is Friday, April 15, 2016. For more information on the CMP, contact Lindsey Schmitt lschmitt@crt.la.gov; 225.342.7987.

Louisiana Festivals   FY 2017 Competitive Grant Program
The application for the Louisiana Office of Tourism's FY 2017 Competitive Grants Program (CGP) has been posted on LOT's Industry Partners Grants page. The goal of the CGP is to encourage and support marketing initiatives for tourism events that attract and retain visitors to the state and have a positive impact on Louisiana's economy. Application deadline is Friday, March 18, 2016.For more information on the CGP, contact Jay Tusa jtusa@crt.la.gov; 225.342.8142.

  2016 Official Louisiana Inspiration Guide
The 2016 Official Louisiana Inspiration Guide is now available. In partnership with the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, LOT has produced a comprehensive, eye-catching guide that features all our great state has to offer visitors. Consistent with the current Louisiana Tourism ad campaign, the guide celebrates Louisiana cuisine. If you would like to request a supply of guides contact Valerie Lewis at 225.342.8100 or vlewis@crt.la.gov.

Pictured left to right: LTPA Chairman Phil Frost, Will Mangham Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Bill Langkopp and Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser
Pictured left to right: LTPA Chairman Phil Frost, Will Mangham Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Bill Langkopp and Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.
  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 250 of their peers at the annual membership luncheon, Thursday, Jan. 28, at the L'Auberge Casino Resort in Lake Charles. Congratulations to the following recipients:
  • Outstanding CVB/TC of the Year, budget of $250,000 - $749,999: Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Outstanding CVB/TC of the Year, budget of $750,000 and above: New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Tourism Campaign/Promotion of the Year: "Louisiana's Northshore: Sharing St. Tammany's Story"/GO VISIT campaign, St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission
  • Festival /Event of the Year: Christmas on the River, Monroe-West Monroe
  • Travel Attraction of the Year: Bayou Rum Distillery in Lacassine
  • Accommodations of the Year, Full-Service Lodging: The Southern Hotel in Covington
  • Accommodations of the Year, Limited-Service Lodging: Hampton Inn Ruston
  • Accommodations of the Year, Bed & Breakfast: The Inn at Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow
  • Restaurateur of the Year: Melvin Rodrigue, president and CEO of Galatoire's Restaurant and Galatoire's 33 Bar & Steak in New Orleans and Galatoire's Bistro in Baton Rouge
  • Campground/RV Park of the Year: Lakeview Park and Beach in Eunice
  • Governmental Friend of Tourism: Senator Ronnie Johns of District 27 representing Calcasieu Parish and Representative John F. "Andy" Anders of District 21 representing Catahoula, Concordia, East Carroll, Madison, and Tensas parishes
  • Will Mangham Lifetime Achievement Award: Bill Langkopp, executive vice president, Louisiana Hotel & Lodging Association


2016 LTPA Board Members
2016 LTPA Board Members
  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 members and task team chairs for 2016 at its annual membership luncheon in Lake Charles.

New officers include:
  • Chairman: Phil Frost, director, Baton Rouge Zoo
  • Vice Chair: Mark Romig, president/CEO, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
  • Secretary: Travis Napper, president/CEO, Ruston Lincoln Parish CVB
  • Treasurer: Janice Delerno Verges, owner, The Stockade Bed & Breakfast
  • Past Chair: Linda Curtis-Sparks, director, Sabine Parish Tourist & Recreation Commission
New directors include:
  • Marc Becker, area director of marketing, New Orleans Hotel Collection
  • Peggy Benoit, director of sales, Carmel Inn & Suites Thibodaux
  • Jim Caldwell, Kisatchie National Forest
  • Melissa Cloutier, marketing manager, Natchitoches Events Center
  • Andy Le Bouef, area director of sales and marketing, NOLA Hotel Group
  • Vito Zuppardo (associate appointee), account director, Miles
Returning directors include:
  • Kerry Andersen, director of community and public relations, L'Auberge Casino Resorts/Pinnacle Entertainment
  • Cory Bahr, chef/owner Restaurant Cotton & Nonna
  • Ben Berthelot, executive director, Lafayette CVC
  • Stacy Brown, president, Shreveport-Bossier CTB
  • Sandra Davis, owner, Konriko/Conrad Rice Mill
  • Kyle Edmiston, assistant secretary, Louisiana Office of Tourism
  • Shelley Johnson, executive director , Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB
  • Kevin Kelly, Owner, Houmas House Plantation & Gardens
  • 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, Jeff Davis Parish TC
  • Attractions: Wilbert Carmouche, Avoyelles Commission on Tourism
  • Finance: Janice Delerno Verges, owner, The Stockade Bed & Breakfast
  • Marketing: Christina Cooper, St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission
  • Membership/Education: Andy LeBouef, NOLA Hotel Group


LTPA recognizes LTLA participants

The Louisiana Travel Promotion Association recently recognized Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy participants at its annual membership luncheon in Lake Charles. The outgoing class of 2015 was lauded for their dedication and achievement in completing the program. The incoming class of 2016 was announced as well. LTLA was created to build future tourism leaders, develop their leadership skills and strengthen their networks through interaction with seasoned industry leaders and up-and-coming professionals. The year-long program focuses on leadership/management, advocacy, product development and networking and marketing.

Class of 2015

Class of 2016
  • Dena Aicklen, Boomtown Belle
  • Jo Banner, River Parishes Tourist Commission
  • Julie Bayonne, Alexandria Pineville CVB
  • Ben Berthelot, Lafayette CVC
  • Lisa Bowles, St. Landry Parish Tourist Commission
  • Kimmie Carlos, River Parishes Tourist Commission
  • Melissa Cloutier Celles, Natchitoches Events Center
  • Jeremy Cooker, New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
  • Janice Delerno, The Stockade Bed & Breakfast
  • Pat Gill, Shreveport-Bossier CTB
  • Courtney Hunt, Visit Baton Rouge
  • Nikki Jackson, Intercontinental New Orleans
  • Tanya Leader, St. Tammany Parish TCC
  • Melanie Lebouef, City of Opelousas
  • Travis Napper, Ruston Lincoln Parish CVB
  • Justin Newhart, Cane River National Heritage Area
  • Jessica Ragusa, Plaquemines Parish Government
  • Wanda Rivers, Sabine Parish Tourist & Recreation Commission
  • Dione Sabelhaus, Jeff Davis Parish Tourist Commission
  • Melissa Small, Shreveport-Bossier CTB
  • Jonathan "J.T." Taylor, Livingston Parish CVB
  • Amanda Quimby, Ruston Lincoln CVB
  • Christina Cooper, St. Tammany Parish TC
  • Christy Naquin, Bayou Country Children's Museum
  • Connie Boudreaux, Louisiana Office of Tourism
  • Emily Fenet Parker, L'Auberge Casino Resort Lake Charles
  • Eric Zartler, Lake Charles SWLA CVB
  • Erica Howard, Shreveport-Bossier CTB
  • Gloria Thompson, Living the Dream Charters
  • Jesse Guidry, Lafayette CVC
  • Joey Pierce, Houma Area CVB
  • Kelli West, Alexandria/Pineville Area CVB
  • Marcilla Cook, Vernon Parish Tourist Commission
  • Marie Stagg, Nottoway Plantation
  • Megan Ryburn, River Parishes Tourist Commission
  • Meggie Powell, Houma Area CVB
  • Morgan Moss, The Myrtles Plantation
  • Sheila Snow, Monroe-West Monroe CVB
  • Timothy Bush, Bayou Lafourche Area CVB
  • Tracy Browning, Ascension Parish Tourist Commission
  • Zachary Ebarb, Shreveport-Bossier CTB
  • Zane Wilson, Renaissance Publishing, LLC
  • Zeb Mayhew III, Oak Alley Plantation

Pictured from left to right: Cecil Hymel, McIlhenny Company vice president of administration, Harold Osborn, McIlhenny Company senior vice president of agriculture, Tony Simmons, McIlhenny Company president & CEO and Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.
Pictured from left to right: Cecil Hymel, McIlhenny Company vice president of administration, Harold Osborn, McIlhenny Company senior vice president of agriculture, Tony Simmons, McIlhenny Company president & CEO and Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser.
  TABASCO® opens new visitor center
Travelers at the world-acclaimed TABASCO® pepper sauce factory in Avery Island will now be greeted by a new visitors center. The facility, which includes company history, pepper cultivation and sauce manufacturing exhibits, is adjacent to the site's new Restaurant 1868 and it will be open daily.

Melrose Plantation is situated within the Cane River National Heritage Area.
  Cane River NHA earns top FlipKey honor
The Cane River National Heritage Area was recently named Louisiana's "Top Historical Spot Worth Traveling For" for 2016 by FlipKey, a subsidiary of TripAdvisor. The National Park Service property in and around the city of Natchitoches interprets and preserves regional Creole history and culture.

  STS Spring Symposium
Join as the industry comes together when Southeast Tourism Society partners with the Southeast Chapter of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (SETTRA) for the Spring Symposium, April 4 - 6 in Baton Rouge. The Spring Symposium is the perfect opportunity to connect with colleagues for quality education, development, networking and expanding knowledge in all areas of tourism. Non-members working in the Louisiana tourism industry can take advantage of a $100 discount of off the registration fee.

  State of the Travel Industry 2016
Travel is an essential economic contributor, providing jobs for millions of Americans. 2016 offers promising opportunities to strengthen the industry and advance priorities, though the community must stay united to face challenges. In the following video, U.S. Travel President and CEO Roger Dow offers insight into the current climate and future outlook of the travel industry.

  Skift Annual Forecast: Megatrends defining travel in 2016
This annual magazine is devoted to our analysis of 15 big trends playing out in the global travel industry, from changing consumer habits, to the big marketing changes happening, to how consumer data are finally being used to understand the traveler, among others.

  What Uber's new travel feature means for the hospitality industry
Uber's filing for a new patented feature, called Uber Travel, could have serious implications for the future of booking applications as well as ride-sharing services, underscoring consumer demand for consolidated travel offerings on mobile.

  Meeting executives increasingly turning to destination marketing organizations
A December 2015 survey of 398 executive meeting professionals revealed that in order to offset the rising costs of key meeting elements, executives are increasingly turning to destination marketing organizations for access to financial incentives and other business growth strategies.

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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