LT. GOVERNOR LANDRIEU ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR 50-CITY LOUISIANA NORTH COALITION MARKETING INITIATIVE -- 010/17/2007
Office of Lieutenant GovernorFOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 17, 2007
LT. GOVERNOR LANDRIEU ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR 50-CITY LOUISIANA NORTH COALITION MARKETING INITIATIVE
Monroe, La - Marketing the tourism assets of north and central Louisiana garnered strength this morning with the announcement by Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu of funding for a 50-city Louisiana North Coalition Marketing Initiative during a news conference at Biedenharn Museum and Gardens.
"In order to compete on a global scale, you have to think regionally, not individually," said Landrieu, whose office oversees the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. "Alone, Monroe, Shreveport, Alexandria, and surrounding rural areas can not compete with markets such as Atlanta or Dallas-Ft. Worth. By joining forces, north and central Louisiana can pool all of their marketable tourism assets including Poverty Point State Park, cultural attractions such as The Biedenharn Museum and Gardens, and great outdoor opportunities like Black Bear Golf Course," Landrieu said. "The unified voice of north and central Louisiana makes it much more enticing to all aspects of the travel industry."
The Louisiana North Coalition is being formed to leverage the assets of more than 50 cities in 29 parishes to promote group tourism, leisure travel, meetings & conventions, and sporting events. Lt. Gov. Landrieu announced today that the Louisiana Office of Tourism, through its parent, DCRT, is committed to supporting the newly formed coalition.
The regional marketing approach will allow the larger cities in the coalition--Monroe, Shreveport, Alexandria, and Natchitoches--to develop regional itineraries for travelers that include nearby smaller cities in order to expand all of north and central Louisiana's media, marketing and trade show opportunities.
DCRT Secretary Angele Davis sees this as a way to strengthen the tourism-marketing message of all of the Louisiana North Coalition members. "This alliance benefits
dozens of smaller, rural towns in north and central Louisiana that are legitimate tourist draws but have historically been financially limited in their ability to market and promote their attractions," Davis said.
The coalition was the brainchild of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. Although the bureau will serve as the overseeing agency for the coalition, other CVBs will play a significant role. "The Lt. Gov.'s announcement of financial support from the state allows us to take the next step toward refining the coalition's strategic plan and moving forward with getting the small towns who want to be a part of this effort on board," said Monroe-West Monroe CVB Director Alana Cooper.
"Many of the small surrounding towns do not have tourist bureaus or commissions. Now they will have a chance to be directly involved in tourism marketing."
State funding of the Louisiana North Coalition will strengthen their participation at national travel trade and consumer travel shows. Chuck Morse, Assistant Secretary of the Louisiana Office Tourism, elaborated. "Travel industry shows are where our Louisiana CVB staffers meet with tour operators and agents to recruit group travel. They also talk with meeting planners to encourage them to bring major conferences and conventions to our cities," Morse said. "Consumer shows will allow the Louisiana North Coalition representatives face time with leisure travelers who are looking for information on destinations. These are opportunities that the smaller cities in north and central Louisiana can turn to their advantage. "
The Louisiana North Coalition is patterned after a successful model being used in south Louisiana that uses larger cities such as New Orleans and Lafayette as the feeder cities for smaller surrounding towns. Parishes in the Louisiana North Coalition include the following: Caddo, Bossier, Webster, Claiborne, Lincoln, Union, Morehouse, Richland, East Carroll, West Carroll, DeSoto, Red River, Bienville, Jackson, Ouachita, Winn, Caldwell, Catahoula, Franklin, Madison, Tensas, Sabine, Natchitoches, Grant, Vernon, Rapides, Avoyelles and Concordia.