Expanding Networks, Expanding Business at Small Market Meeting Summit

Emily Treme, director of association sales, and Madison Yates, destination services specialist, attended the Small Market Meeting Summit in DuPage, Illinois. This summit provided Visit Lake Charles (VLC) with an opportunity to connect with meeting planners nationwide. Treme and Yates had 24 individual meetings, showcasing Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana as an ideal venue for small to medium-sized conferences. They highlighted the region’s unique attractions and experiences to planners who were previously unfamiliar with the area and aimed to acquire new business. By attending the summit, Treme and Yates expanded their professional network, which could result in more bookings and enhance Southwest Louisiana’s presence in the meetings and conventions market. 

Expanding Networks, Expanding Business at Small Market Meeting SummitExpanding Networks, Expanding Business at Small Market Meeting Summit

En Route to TMP Certification at STS Marketing College 

Candy Rodriguez, director of communications, embarked on her first year at Southeast Tourism Society's Marketing College at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, in early June. The weeklong intensive program brought together over 300 travel and tourism professionals, providing Rodriguez with a valuable opportunity to network and exchange ideas with peers from across the Southeast. 

The program delved into tourism product development, destination marketing, and the art of festival and event planning. Her participation marks the beginning of her journey toward earning her Travel Marketing Professional (TMP) and Festival & Events Planner (FEP) certifications, which will boost her tourism marketing expertise and aid in Rodriguez’s efforts to develop strategies for promoting Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana.  

Since joining Visit Lake Charles last September, Marketing College marks Rodriguez's first significant industry learning opportunity. 

En Route to TMP at STS Marketing CollegeEn Route to TMP at STS Marketing College 2

Sharpening PR Skills at PRSA Travel and Tourism 2024 Conference

Matt Young, VLC's director of public relations, attended the PRSA Travel & Tourism 2024 Section Conference in Greenville, South Carolina, from June 2-5. The conference focused on PR and media trends in tourism, offering workshops to enhance communication strategies.  

The event began with an inspiring keynote from Tyler Florence, a renowned Food Network chef who visited Lake Charles in January for The Great Food Truck Race and praised Mama Reta's fried chicken. 

For Young, this experience will contribute to more effective storytelling and promotion of Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana as a premier travel destination as he has gained insights and expanded his professional media network.  

Sharpening PR Skills at PRSA Travel and Tourism 2024 ConferenceSharpening PR Skills at PRSA Travel and Tourism 2024 Conference 2

Global Spotlight on SWLA: International Tour Operators Visit Lake Charles

Kaitlyn Gallegos, director of global sales, hosted several international familiarization tours in partnership with the Louisiana Office of Tourism and Brand USA.  

At the beginning of the month, VLC welcomed six tour operators from Germany, showcasing the area's attractions and hospitality. This tour aimed to educate tour operators about Southwest Louisiana's unique experiences, enhancing their ability to promote the destination to their clients. Germany remains one of Visit Lake Charles’ top international markets, alongside Canada, the UK, and France. 

Additionally, tour operators from Australia and New Zealand visited Lake Charles as part of a familiarization tour with Brand USA. The brief yet impactful visit included a warm welcome at Encanto, featuring representatives from Crying Eagle Brewing, who introduced the tour operators to the rich cultural experiences in Southwest Louisiana.  

VLC also hosted Comptoir des Voyages from France, providing an immersive experience that included a downtown tour with Biking Through The Lake and kayaking in Sam Houston Jones State Park, further promoting Southwest Louisiana. 

Global Spotlight on SWLA International Tour Operators Visit Lake CharlesGlobal Spotlight on SWLA International Tour Operators Visit Lake Charles 2

VLC Quarterly Meeting Fights Against Human Trafficking

Visit Lake Charles hosted its third Quarterly Hotel Meeting this month at the SEED Center in Lake Charles, featuring guest speakers from the SWLA Alliance Against Human Trafficking. The nonprofit works to eradicate human trafficking through education, advocacy, and action, aiming to build a community where everyone is valued. 

By sharing their insights and dedication, the alliance equipped 34 hotel staff and management professionals with essential knowledge and red flags to identify potential human trafficking victims, such as poor living conditions and restricted communication. Visit Lake Charles champions ongoing industry education through discussions and meetings like these, which provide an opportunity to learn, network and collaborate with the region’s hospitality industry.

VLC Quarterly Meeting Fights Against Human Trafficking

Check out Tourism Works in the American Press on the last Thursday of each month.

Tourism Works June 2024