LAKE CHARLES, La. (December 28, 2011)-The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau received recent coverage in group tour trade publications Courier and Group Tour Magazine.

Both travel trade magazines published stories on Southwest Louisiana in their December issues.  Courier is a magazine for National Travel Association members, and Group Tour Magazine is published for meeting planners booking group tours.

"Our Communications Department not only conducts several media tours each year, but strategically strengthens relationships with journalists and bloggers to gain additional news coverage for the area," said Shelley Johnson, executive director of the bureau. "In 2011, we garnered more than $9.2 million of free exposure for the area reaching more than 410 million people."

The Courier story focused on the 2012 Palm Sunday Tour of Homes in Margaret Place, and the Group Tour Magazine article focused on Southwest Louisiana's Mardi Gras festivities.

The Communications Department pitches media outlets on a daily basis and has hosted more than 30 writers since January 2011.  The bureau is constantly looking for unique story ideas to pitch to journalists, so please don't hesitate to contact the Communications Department if you have anything noteworthy to share with regional and national media.

For more information on the bureau's public relations efforts, please contact Megan Monsour Hartman at 436-9588 or mhartman@visitlakecharles.org.

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