PJAL 100th Anniversary 

The 100th Annual Convention of the Police Jury Association of Louisiana, held at Golden Nugget Lake Charles from Feb. 28 to March 1, drew more than 500 participants of Police Jurors and vendors from all corners of the state.

More than just a commemoration of a century of achievements, this event offered a unique opportunity for statewide community leaders to experience the vibrant cultural and natural beauty of Southwest Louisiana.

As part of the convention, the sales team arranged a spousal tour, allowing visiting family members to discover local attractions, such as a memorable tour of the Bayou Rum facility.

In addition to workshops and meetings, the convention significantly stimulated the local economy, generating $332,277 in direct business sales, highlighting its positive impact on the region. Melanie Barnett, the association's executive administrator, attributes the monumental event's success to Visit Lake Charles.

"We received exceptional service from Visit Lake Charles," she remarked. "The communication and support provided by their staff through emails, in-person meetings, and phone calls made us feel fully supported, contributing to the achievement of the Police Jury Association's goals and expectations.

Our 100th-anniversary celebration wouldn't have been as triumphant without the invaluable assistance of our partners. I genuinely believe we've forged a strong partnership with the team." 


PJAL Spousal Tour Bayou Rum

Ballin’ in the Bayou

Basketball enthusiasts were treated to the excitement surrounding the Louisiana High School Athletic Association (LHSAA) Boys’ Marsh Madness Basketball State Championship Tournament and the Jersey Mike’s Southland Conference Basketball Tournament presented by Explore Louisiana.  

For six days, from March 4-9, 40 teams from across the state battled it out for the championship title at Burton Complex. This year’s event marks the 11th consecutive year that Southwest Louisiana has been the home for the championship tournament. 

McNeese State University Men’s Basketball claimed the title of Southland Champs, securing a spot in the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) ’s March Madness tournament for the first time since 2002.  

Last fall, the Southland Conference Board of Directors unanimously voted to extend the Southland Basketball Championships through 2029 at the Legacy Center.  

Chris Grant, the SLC commissioner, expressed gratitude for the community leadership, warm hospitality extended by the Southwest Louisiana community, and the convenience of the Legacy Center’s location, making it accessible for fans from all over the Southland Conference.  

Grant highlighted the importance these factors played in leaving a lasting impression on loyal SLC fans, ensuring their return each year for an unforgettable experience both on and off the court. 


LHSAA Marsh Madness 1LHSAA Marsh Madness 2

2024 Marketing & Communications Summit 

During the 2024 Marketing and Communications Summit hosted by Destinations International in Salt Lake City, Utah, from Feb. 27-29, industry professionals gathered to discuss groundbreaking ideas shaping the future of tourism marketing. Attendees delved into interactive sessions and panel discussions covering a wide array of topics, from digital marketing trends to crisis communication strategies, ensuring they stayed ahead in the dynamic marketing landscape.

Among the speakers was Timothy Bush, chief marketing officer, who shared insights into campaign activations and data-driven marketing decisions.

"I'm incredibly grateful to have been able to connect with both new and old colleagues, as well as having the opportunity to be a speaker for two sessions during the conference," he said. "I was able to share some of the impactful work the team at Visit Lake Charles is doing around campaign activations and how we are using data to make informed marketing decisions and promoting a culture of data literacy."


TB at DI Event

New Spring/Summer Inspiration Guide

Unlock your Southwest Louisiana adventure by checking out our new digital Spring/Summer Inspiration Guide online. The newly released magazine-style guide is filled with insider tips on things to do, must-try food, where to stay and events happening in Southwest Louisiana. Readers can also request a copy by mail by visiting our website


Tourism Works March 2024