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LGBT Tourism: Travel Trends and Lessons in an Emerging Market

With ongoing changes in the nation’s political and social climate, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourism is emerging as a hot topic in travel marketing circles. Overall, the LGBT community travels frequently, possessing a higher number of passports than their non-LGBT counterparts. Hotels, Convention & Visitors Bureaus and Destination Marketing Organizations have taken notice, and in the last few years have geared marketing campaigns towards gay travelers.

In 2015, Community Marketing & Insights conducted LGBT travel research surveys, and their results offered suggestions as to where this valuable sector is heading.

Big cities still matter, but smaller markets are emerging.

The biggest U.S. destinations for gay travelers are (drumroll please…) New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Washington, DC, Miami and...

Festival Organizers, Let’s Party: Springtime is the Time to Optimize Visitor Outreach

As a Miles editor whose market (Louisiana) boasts more than 400 festivals annually, I spend a lot of time browsing and researching event websites and social media pages. Those include the state’s many gumbo fests — five, by my count — as well as such offbeat parties including the Louisiana Shrimp & Petroleum Festival and the Giant Omelette Celebration.

As the nation puts away its winter coats and springtime festival season rolls around, it’s a good opportunity for organizers to update their websites and marketing campaigns. Your friends in the media will thank you and, more importantly, so will your visitors and vendors.

The Basics

The best way of getting...

Hooray for Hollywood South: How TV and Film Boost Tourism in Louisiana

Louisiana and the film industry are match made in Hollywood heaven. The state’s landscape and culture, New Orleans’ irreverent personality and architecture, and one duck-hunting family whose antics are the basis of the most-watched reality show ever—nowhere else can compete with what the Bayou State offers to the industry and fans alike.

Louisiana’s high profile on the big screen has had a profound positive effect on our tourism industry. A whopping 14.5 percent of out-of-state visitors came here because of TV shows or films they saw that were shot in Louisiana.

The Bayou State boasts some pretty impressive numbers: In 2013, more films and television shows were shot here than any other state in the U.S. 12 Years a Slave, which won that year’s Academy Award for Best Picture, was shot at locations throughout Louisiana. The top-grossing film of 2015, Jurassic World, was shot partly in New Orleans. And NCIS: New Orleans, which premiered in 2014, is currently one of the top-rated shows on television, regularly garnering more than 10 million viewers on Tuesday nights.

Viewers mean money, and millions of both are coming into the state along with film productions....

10 Commandments of Travel Marketing Writing

Travel marketing writing requires a peculiar set of skills. It’s not strictly journalism, and it’s not ad copywriting either, though it contains elements of both. It’s a bit like sales, though what we’re selling is not a product. Rather, we’re marketing experiences that readers can have when they visit the places we cover. The job of us writers and editors is to get readers as excited about these destinations as we are.

With that in mind, here are a few tips for travel marketing writers (big thanks to editors Shelly Benson, Patrick Rodgers and Janet Fusco for their suggestions):

I. Thou Shalt Know Thy Audience

Aside from web work on LouisianaTravel.com, I edit numerous print guides with distinctly different audiences. For example, the...

Culinary Tourism Trends Bode Well for Travel in Louisiana and Beyond

Gumbo, crawfish pies, beignets — few spots in the U.S. can boast these kinds of culinary riches that are so closely associated with Louisiana.

In some ways, great food is Louisiana’s calling card. It’s among the main reasons 28.7 million visitors came to the Bayou State in 2014 alone.

With trends in tourism increasingly leaning towards culinary experiences, Louisiana is poised to be among the nation’s top destinations for food lovers. In fact, culinary-related travel is so important that the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association, partnering with the Louisiana Office of Tourism, has made the 2015 and 2016 editions of its...