A MESSAGE FROM OUR CEO - BRAND USA TRAVEL WEEK
Earlier this month, Visit Lake Charles Director of Global Sales Kaitlyn Gallegos and I traveled to London for Brand USA Travel Week to meet with potential buyers. Brand USA is a destination marketing organization that works to increase travel to the United States from abroad. The organization aims to boost international visitation to places like Southwest Louisiana. The tradeshow allowed VLC to connect Southwest Louisiana with numerous prospective international visitors through more than 33 buyers. Brand USA Travel Week is the sole tourism event in Europe dedicated to travel in the U.S. Simultaneously, the event featured the Brand USA CEO Summit, which I had the privilege of attending. I also had the opportunity to connect with journalists and publishers from across the Continent who represented renowned publications, including The Independent and The Daily Telegraph in the U.K., NOW-Medien in Germany, Ladevi in Spain, and La Stampa in Italy. While the year is starting to wrap up, Visit Lake Charles staff continue to work to attract new visitors to the area for 2024 and beyond.
Visit Lake Charles
MARCIA BALL: ROSA HART THEATRE REDEDICATION CELEBRATION
Performers rejoiced this month as they could finally grace the stage again at the Rosa Hart Theatre in a special rededication ceremony featuring Vinton native Marcia Ball. The theatre temporarily closed as it underwent repairs following hurricane damage. Visit Lake Charles partnered with the City of Lake Charles for the event that drew attendees from across Southwest Louisiana.
VLC SALES TEAM HOSTS MEETING PLANNERS IN BATON ROUGE
Visit Lake Charles Vice President of Sales Taylor Beard Stanley, Director of Association Sales Matt Young and Destination Services Specialist Madison Yates traveled to Baton Rouge to host a meeting planner focus group. The goal of the focus group was to gain a better understanding from meeting planners who have recently hosted meetings or events in the Lake Area and those who had not selected Southwest Louisiana for their meetings in the past five years or ever before. The discussion covered topics such as the perception of Southwest Louisiana as a meeting destination and the overall awareness of VLC's programming. Those who had met in Lake Charles also shared their recent experiences in the region. The feedback gathered from this focus group will help shape the sales team's plan and strategies for the future of Visit Lake Charles.
CHUCK TASTES RESTAURANT NIGHT - AN EVENING OF SWLA CUISINE TRANSFORMED INTO A FUNDRAISING SUCCESS
SOWELA Technical Community College's Culinary, Gaming and Hospitality program received a $12,500 check this month thanks to funds raised in June during the Louisiana Seafood Cook-Off Competition hosted at Golden Nugget Lake Charles as part of the event. Visit Lake Charles hosted Chuck Tastes Restaurant night, a culinary celebration that featured 15 local restaurants showcasing the region's diverse and rich culinary scene. The restaurants provided food, drinks and desserts for attendees to enjoy.
"Anytime the SOWELA Foundation receives donations for our students, it's a great day." Expressed Dr. Nell Aspinwall, the college's chancellor. "Over 95% of the money that we raise or business and industry donates, we give right back to our students for scholarships because we do not participate in the federal student loan program, and we do that to ensure our students graduate with little to no debt. That’s why donations like this are vital to our success.”
STS CONFERENCE HIGHLIGHTS
VISIT LAKE CHARLES WINS BEST NICHE MARKETING CAMPAIGN
The Southeast Tourism Society awarded Visit Lake Charles the Shining Example Award for Best Niche Marketing campaign during the organization’s annual Shining Example Awards Dinner during its annual Connections Conference this year in Jackson, Mississippi.
During the conference, Visit Lake Charles Senior Director of Brand Marketing Colten Miller graduated from the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College, earning him the professional designation of Travel Marketing Professional (TMP).
BUSH AND MILLER SHOWCASE MARKETING INNOVATION
VLC’s Chief Marketing Officer Timothy Bush moderated the Shining Innovation Session, while Miller served as a panelist presenting the success of the marketing team’s Austin Integrated Campaign.
VLC INVITES RESTAURANTS TO PARTICIPATE IN CHUCK EATS RESTAURANT WEEK
Calling all restaurants! Visit Lake Charles invites you to participate in the second annual Chuck Eats Restaurant Week event happening Jan. 19-28, 2024. The 10-day foodie event gives those participating a chance to reconnect with their loyal regulars and attract new customers through fixed-price or prix-fixe menus that highlight local favorites and new dishes. To support the effort, Visit Lake Charles will launch a marketing campaign to generate local and regional buzz surrounding the weeklong celebration. There is a $100 fee for participating restaurants to help cover some of the marketing costs associated with Chuck Eats Restaurant Week, which will help bring your culinary creations to the eyes of hungry visitors. To register and learn more about the event, visit www.chuckeats.org.
About Visit Lake Charles:
Visit Lake Charles, the official destination marketing organization for Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana, is the only organization in Southwest Louisiana providing advocacy, promotion, and education for the tourism industry. For more information on Visit Lake Charles and things to see and do in Louisiana’s Playground, log on to www.visitlakecharles.org.