As work on Shreveport-Bossier's newest casino nears completion, state and local officials are pushing for more tourists to come to Louisiana and to come here to Shreveport-Bossier.

Stacy Brown with the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau says her office is making a push to bring more conventions to our region.  So much so that they are asking local businesses that are members of trade organizations to get in contact with her office to bring their convention to Shreveport-Bossier.

In 2012, 377 conventions were booked in our region.  The tourist bureau has teamed up with 23 local hotels to make sales calls to local businesses to encourage them to bring regional, national, and international conferences they attend here to Shreveport-Bossier.

But our local officials want more than just businesses to come to Shreveport-Bossier.  In 2011, $936 million was spent by visitors here in our area.

Some of the main reasons for visiting, according to the Shreveport-Bossier Ad Conversion Study in 2012:

  • Leisure 69%
  • Leisure Trip 15%
  • Business 9%
  • Personal (i.e. Medical, Education, etc) 4%
  • Other 3%

"There is great diversity of opportunities for a traveler here," said Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne.  "Beautiful fishing, recreational opportunities on the many lakes up here.  You got a host of casinos in a concentrated to draw people who come to Louisiana for gaming purposes."

"They love Louisiana.  They love the food, the culture, the Southern hospitality we provide is second to none," Stacy Brown said of visitors from states like Texas.

But why Shreveport-Bossier over other locations in the state?

"It's not New Orleans.  A lot of people come to Louisiana attracted by New Orleans and it's not just New Orleans," explained Dardenne.  He said each part of the state offers a unique experience to visitors.

And for those just passing through the area on I-20, the tourist bureau has an event for you.

"On Friday, we'll be at the Greenwood Welcome Center," said Brown.  "Several of our attractions are being some hands-on things from their different locations to really encourage visitors who are stopping at that visitor center to come into Shreveport-Bossier."

The event will be taking place between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Greenwood Welcome Center.  The center sees about 8,500 people a month, with Friday being the busiest day.

"Most of our visitors think of us as a gaming destination and our casinos have done so much to grow tourism in Shreveport-Bossier," Brown explained in a news release.  "But we want this expo to show people that we offer family attractions, too."