The Louisiana Office of Tourism has unveiled a new tool for attracting tourists to the state. The agency has released the Louisiana Culinary Trails Guide Book and has launched a new tourism Web site, www.louisianatravel.com/ culinary.
Chuck Morse, assistant secretary of tourism for the state, recently visited Avery Island to make the announcement in this area as he crisscrosses the state, promoting the new approach.
“The whole trail approach concept is to look at the whole state, organize its assets and take it to the marketplace in an integrated way to entice folks to come and visit,” Morse said.
In February, the Office of Tourism announced its African American Trail through the state, which Morse said has attracted national media attention and a number of visitors. The agency also plans to launch a Civil War trail later this year.
Right now, however, the emphasis is on Louisiana the Louisiana culinary experience. The guide includes at least two Lafayette restaurants, Charley G’s and the Creole Lunch House.
The Web site has an expanded list of local eateries.
The featured restaurants were chosen by an objective third party, Morse said.
Funding for the venture came from a public/private partnership, Morse said. “The state put in $300,000 and $350,000 was raised from private partners.”
Tabasco and the Louisiana Seafood Association were major contributors. Other partners include various convention and visitors bureaus around the state.
Promotion for the culinary trail includes television commercials and Web demonstrations.
“On our Web site, we have a crawfish eating demonstration, where folks can get involved,” Morse said. “We make it fun and bring folks to Louisiana. We also want to have a giveaway where folks can win a culinary trip to Louisiana.”
Representatives of the state will also visit other areas to bring the idea to potential tourists.
“We’ll take this on the road,” Morse said, “nationally and internationally. We’ll have chefs go with us. We’ll have trade shows, where our culture is front and center.”