Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau
                                        Celebrates National Tourism Week May 7-15

LAKE CHARLES, La.- The Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau will celebrate National Tourism Week, May 7-15.  As tourism is the seventh largest industry in Louisiana, the bureau will sponsor a variety of events in the community to create awareness of tourism's impact.

National Tourism Week public events kick off with Children's Day, Saturday, May 7, in the Welcome Center lobby from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.  Free pizza, coffee and dessert will be available, and a variety of games and exhibits will be displayed to call attention to the great things for families to see and do in Southwest Louisiana. Gumbeaux Gator will be on hand to welcome everyone.

To celebrate Mother's Day, the tourist information staff will hand out flowers on Sunday, May 8, to mothers who stop by the Welcome Center.

Monday, May 9, is Hospitality Day and members of the sales staff will visit area hotels, campgrounds and bed and breakfasts.

Tuesday, May 10, showcases restaurants in the area with Restaurant Day, offering visitors and locals a chance to sample some of the best cuisine in Southwest Louisiana.  Due to high demand, the event, made possible by the generous support of the area restaurants, is open to the public from 11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m. and has moved to the Lake Charles Civic Center Exhibition Hall.

On Thursday, May 12, members of the staff will set up a welcome display at the visitor center in Vinton. The bureau will honor the local air transportation staff with lunch at the Lake Charles Regional Airport on Friday, May 13.

Friday is also Volunteer Day from 1-3 p.m. Lake Area volunteers are invited to join staff at the bureau, as they thank them for their valuable contributions to the community.

The public is invited to visit the welcome center to enjoy the festivities. As part of the celebration, the bureau will serve refreshments all week in the lobby of the welcome center. Every 100th visitor will receive a special gift. The center is open from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. on weekends.

For more information, contact the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Bureau at (337) 436-9588 or visit www.visitlakecharles.org/tourismweek. To learn more about the bureau's social media programs, log on to www.visitlakecharles.org/social.