Louisiana’s River Parishes hosts virtual tourism summit

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 19, 2020

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LAPLACE — Louisiana’s River Parishes Tourist Commission recently hosted its second annual Louisiana’s River Parishes Tourism Summit as a virtual experience. The free, all-day event featured a keynote presentation by Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Billy Nungesser and provided individuals and organizations with an interest or investment in regional tourism with critical information on industry innovations, best practices and regional updates.

“We are looking forward to the culmination of our strategic planning, as well as the public’s response to our efforts in preserving and elevating our destination’s economy,” said Buddy Boe, executive director of LARPTC. “The Commission is working diligently to provide the resources our hospitality leaders and businesses need to both thrive and serve visitors to our region.”

The Summit once again featured two educational tracks: Sales/Marketing and Destination Development. The Sales/Marketing Track focused on helping partners understand the sales process, packaging for group travel, working with the LARPTC, and social and digital media. The Destination Development Track offered presentations on historic preservation, case studies on creating historic districts, why a strong tourism organization is vital to a region’s success and creating a unique visitor experience through events. Speakers from Top Tier Travel, the American Bus Association and Cane River National Heritage Area were among the talented line-up of speakers discussing a myriad of topics including the “Importance of Digital: Now More Than Ever,” “The Secret to Group Experiences that Go Above and Beyond” and “Working with Louisiana’s River Parishes as a Brand.”

Over two dozen industry leaders addressed attendees of the virtual event, including St. James Parish President Pete Dufrense and St. Charles Parish President Matthew Jewell. Additional highlights included the highly anticipated unveiling of Louisiana’s River Parishes 2030 Strategic Plan and the Second Annual Leadership in Tourism Awards. Award winners included:

Rising Star Award – 1811 Kid Ory Historic House

Ambassador Award – Blood, Sweat and Bonfires

Legislator Award – Rep. Ken Brass

Partner Award – Destrehan Plantation

Lifetime Achievement Award – Angie Matherne

“We’re mindful of taking precautions in response to the pandemic, as well as ensuring that our tourism partners can learn more about our destination’s plans in bringing tourism dollars to our region,” said Garrett Monti, board chairman of LARPTC. “We are excited to lead the charge in transforming regional tourism through smart initiatives. While we do not doubt that our virtual abilities will continue to develop and play a role in our arsenal, we look forward to welcoming visitors back to our region.”

Louisiana’s River Parishes Tourist Commission is the official destination and marketing organization and driving force for tourism in St. Charles, St. James and St. John the Baptist parishes. The organization offers assistance to visitors, advocates for its stakeholders, and stimulates the region’s economic growth.

The summit can be viewed online at lariverparishessummit2020.com/eventpage?r_done=1.