Nov 29, 2023 - Business

How Louisiana plans to spend its $10M marketing budget

Photo shows Louisiana's float in the 2023 Rose Parade led by a marching band

Louisiana will have a float in the Rose Parade in California for the third year in a row. Last year's float, pictured, was a riverboat. This year's float will have a massive Mardi Gras jester. Photo: David McNew/Getty Images

Louisiana tourism officials plan to entice visitors through unconventional means, like paying Rolling Stone magazine to take musicians birdwatching on a new state birding trail.

Why it matters: Tourism means big money for Louisiana.

  • In 2022, the travel and tourism industry generated $1.9 billion in state and local tax revenue, according to the Louisiana Office of Tourism.

The big picture: The Louisiana Office of Tourism has a $10 million budget to promote the state internationally, according to the Louisiana Illuminator.

  • The state relies on a mix of traditional media, like billboards, and nontraditional media, like parade floats.

What he's saying: "Now more than ever, Louisiana is competing on a global scale for attention and travel intent," Doug Bourgeois, the state's assistant secretary of tourism, tells Axios.

  • "In the wake of the pandemic, every state and nation in the world is working to innovate their marketing and advertising strategies to claim their share of returning travelers on an international scale."

What's happening: Tourism officials in 2024 will focus on the "Year of Music," because "music is a part of our culture, from Mardi Gras to our festivals, to our daily lives," said Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser, who oversees the tourism office.

  • Here are some of the projects in the budget.
Photo shows Louisiana's float in the 2023 Rose Parade: a flower-covered steamboat with trees.
Laine Hardy and the Hot 8 Brass Band performed in the 2023 Rose Parade, pictured. In the 2024 parade, riders and entertainers include Zydeco musician Sean Ardoin, Cajun fiddler Amanda Shaw and guitarist James Burton. Photo: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

🌹 Rose Parade: Louisiana will have a float in the Rose Parade for the third year in a row. The parade rolls on New Year's Day in Pasadena, California.

  • Louisiana had a three-year contract with the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, but it ended this year, says Veronica Mosgrove, the communications director for the Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

🐦 Rolling Stone: The state has a $300,000 proposal with Rolling Stone to promote the as-yet-incomplete Louisiana Birding Trail, according to Fox 44. It's a paid partnership for musicians to go birding with a writer in an online video series.

  • Previous participants include Doja Cat, Jeff Goldblum and Valee.
  • The proposal is contingent on the trail launching and the migratory season in fiscal year 2024, Bourgeois tells Axios.

🏈 Super Bowl: Louisiana has budgeted $500,000 to advertise at the 2024 Super Bowl in Las Vegas, writes Julie O'Donoghue at the Illuminator.

🎷 Music festivals: Officials plan to spend $800,000 promoting Louisiana at jazz and blues festivals around the country, the Illuminator says.

Yes, but: The state has shelved the $650,000 proposal to advertise on the outside of the Sphere venue, called the Exosphere, in Las Vegas.

  • Bourgeois tells Axios the idea is on hold "due to increasing estimated production costs."

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