Louisiana  Pick Your Passion! Travel Pulse Office of Tourism Update
March 10, 2016
"Only in Louisiana" GRAMMY® brunch is a big success

Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser
Hollywood music and travel media mingled with notable Louisiana musicians and state and local DMO spokesmen at this year's "Only in Louisiana" brunch held in conjunction with the annual GRAMMY® Awards. This year's bash at the Conga Room in Los Angeles featured Cajun and Creole cuisine and musical performances by Jon Cleary and The Revelers, two of 18 Louisiana artists/acts nominated for the top prize in the recording industry. Cleary and Buddy Guy both won GRAMMYs® this year, and Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser became an associate member of the Recording Academy.

  Louisiana Historical Marker program
The Louisiana Office of Tourism is accepting applications for the Louisiana Historical Marker program, which commemorates facts, people, events and places prominently identified with the history of the nation, state or region. Historical markers are funded privately by sponsors. Any individual or group may nominate a location or occasion of historical interest for historical marker commemoration. The 2016 application deadline is Wednesday, May 18, 2016. All applications must be postmarked by the day of the deadline. If you have questions, contact Lynne Coxwell at lcoxwell@crt.la.gov or 225.342.2876

Louisiana Tax Free Shopping   Louisiana Tax Free Shopping experiences significant increases in 2015
Louisiana Tax Free Shopping's (LTFS) annual figures for 2015 showed sharp increases in visitor spending and in the total number of transactions processed by the program. The 2015 figures represent the highest numbers in the past decade following the devastation of the 2005 hurricane season. Furthermore, the overall dollar value of purchases rose sharply in 2015, up to $41.8 million from $32.5 million the previous year. Total transactions processed by LTFS increased to 51,641, over 10,000 more than those recorded in 2014.

Southeastern Tourism Society 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 May 15 - 20, 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 logo   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 March 14, and the scholarship recipient will be notified in May. For additional information contact Cindy Tullier at ctullier@ltpa.org.

STS Top 20 Events   STS Top 20 Events for Oct. - Dec.
Southeast Tourism Society chooses the Top 20 Events for each month and publishes its list of winners quarterly. Nominations are accepted from STS members and non-member organizations; submissions are accepted from individuals, attendees and/or event organizers. Top 20 Events strongly encourages entrants to support their nominations by providing supporting material such as photos, posters, brochures, press releases, news clippings and/or volunteer programs. Nominated events must have an attendance of at least 1,000 and be in the third year of existence. There is a $20 entry fee required per event. The deadline to nominate events that occur in October, November or December 2016 is Friday, April 1.

The State of the American Traveler   Destinations poised for success in 2016
The quarterly State of the American Traveler from Destination Analysts is one of the nation's leading tourism research reports on American leisure travel. The latest edition takes a fascinating look at destinations, including which specific locations are most appealing to U.S. travelers. New Orleans ranked 12th for Destinations to Visit in 2016. Americans took an average of 4.4 leisure trips last year. In this edition, 34.2 percent of travelers said that they will increase the number of leisure trips taken this year, up from 31.1 percent one year earlier. Millennials (57.1 percent) are planning to travel more in the coming year than baby boomers (23 percent). Beach destinations and resorts will see less visits, but still more than half of Americans will include them in their 2016 itineraries. While only one fourth of American leisure trips involved traveling by plane, 51.2 percent of travelers used an airline last year. Thirty-two percent of Americans will enjoy one of our National Parks this year. About 36.4 percent of travelers used a DMO website and 30.8 percent used Facebook to plan leisure travel.

  Atchafalaya images earn photographer top honors
A Netherlands photojournalist's artistic depictions of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area recently earned their creator "Travel Photographer of the Year" honors for 2015 from tpoty.com. Photographer Marsel van Oosten's eerie black-and-white captures of flooded cypress forests will be on display at the Museum of London Docklands along with other category winners.

Forbes Travel Guide Star Awards   Forbes Travel Guide Star Awards includes many New Orleans sites
Forbes Travel Guide recently announced its 58th list of 2016 Forbes Travel Guide Star Award Winners worldwide, and New Orleans has several hotels, restaurants and spas among those recognized.

Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Hotels

  • The Ritz-Carlton
  • Windsor Court Hotel
Forbes Travel Guide Recommended Hotels
  • Harrah's New Orleans
  • Hotel Monteleone
Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Restaurants
  • Bayona
  • The Grill Room, Windsor Court Hotel
  • M bistro, The Ritz-Carlton
Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Spas
  • The Ritz-Carlton Spa
  • The Spa at Windsor Court

  Houma using geocaching to enhance local travel
Houma has created Louisiana's first and only GeoTour, utilizing "geocaching" or gps-based sightseeing, The local CVB recently worked with vlogger Joshua Johnson of Minnesota to develop a "Houma Geotour" and a series of videos on Houma for YouTube.

  How big data and analytics are changing hotels and the hospitality industry
The hotel and hospitality sector caters to millions of travelers every day, and each one of them checks in with their own set of expectations. Meeting those expectations is the key to getting people to return, and increasingly hotel and leisure operators are turning to advanced analytics solutions for clues about how to keep their customers happy.

  5 charts showing rise of mobile browsing and online travel transactions
Nearly 40 percent of all global travelers shop for travel on mobile devices and complete transactions on mobile about a third of the time, with mobile transactions up three percent year-over-year as of the fourth quarter 2015.

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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