Update from the President & CEO

Valued LTA members,

2019 is off to a great start for your association and we have you to thank! We boasted an unprecedented 92.4% membership retention rate in 2018 and are on track to do even better in 2019. Your continued investment with us is motivation to the entire staff and board, reinvigorating our efforts to strengthen Louisiana’s tourism industry.

While our name has changed, the Louisiana Travel Association’s mission has remained the same: serving our members through promotion, advocacy and education.

In follow-up to our January Annual Meeting, I wanted to take the opportunity to share just a few of the many successes from your association’s activities in 2018:

Rebrand

  • Following a unanimous vote from our membership at the beginning of 2018, we dropped the “P” and kicked off efforts to rebrand as the Louisiana Travel Association.
  • We have a new name, new meaningful logo, beautiful new website – but our level of service and care for our membership has not changed!

Advocacy

  • At this year’s annual conference, the Lt. Governor’s Travel Summit, we hosted 45 local and statewide elected leaders as we highlighted the economic importance of our industry. 
  • During the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget’s statutorily dedicated fund review process, we worked closely with legislators to show the value and importance of Visitor Enterprise Funds. This effort resulted in full approval of all funds, solidifying one method of tourism funding for almost every parish in the state.

Education

  • The fourth class of the successful Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy completed $100,000 worth of pro-bono tourism product enhancement and marketing projects on behalf of LTA members across the state.
  • The alumni of LTLA awarded two scholarships to members of the 2019 LTLA class.

Promotion

  • We added a number of research opportunities to our annual Marketing Plan in response to our members’ eagerness to prove ROI for your marketing dollars.
  • Our Louisiana Culinary Trails events in Nashville garnered about 7.5 million total impressions from articles, social media posts, digital ads and broadcast news reports.

 

As you can see, 2018 was an exceptional year for LTA!

As the 2019 legislative session approaches and campaign season kicks off, we are reminded of the importance of continuously educating our elected leaders at every level about tourism’s economic impact. Because of term limits, about 40 percent of Louisiana’s legislative seats will be turning over at the end of the year with this election cycle. This is an opportunity to build new champions for our industry through grassroots advocacy efforts. With Visitor Enterprise Funds on what we perceive as solid footing, 2019 being an election year for the legislature and the increased pressure to prove ROI, our industry is tunring its focus to a local advocacy effort.

I encourage you to take advantage of our Travel Impact Toolkit, a free resource on our website that provides you with talking points, social media graphics, sample editorial letters and more that highlight the economic value of tourism in Louisiana.

If you have not already done so, be sure to also sign up for our Legislative Alerts to receive frequent updates during the session (April 8-June 6) about tourism-related bills and issues.

Your continued involvement is vital to the success of our industry. Thank you for allowing us to serve you each and every day!

Sincerely,

Jill Kidder
President & CEO
jill@louisianatravelassociation.org
225-346-1857