Each year, the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau releases an annual report filled with data about the organization’s sales and marketing efforts. Last year, was a particularly difficult year for every industry because of COVID-19. However, tourism was especially hit hard.
It is estimated that the tourism industry lost approximately $1 trillion in economic impact and more than 100 million jobs worldwide. This ongoing global crisis continues to devastate one of the world’s largest industries.
Locally, tourism is still reeling from the ruinous effects of shuttered businesses, smaller conventions, and ever-changing state mandates. From March to December 2020, 72 meetings and 59 sports events cancelled. Those groups would have spent an estimated $21 million in Shreveport-Bossier.
“The year 2020 started with such promise,” said Stacy Brown, president of the Tourist Bureau. “We were building momentum in the meetings market and working on bids to host conferences like the Society of American Travel Writers that would have boosted mid-week hotel business and shined a spotlight on Shreveport-Bossier with a proliferation of positive articles and social media posts from visiting travel writers about our amazing attractions, food, casinos, outdoor recreation, and most importantly, our friendly people.”
However, the Tourist Bureau was able to pivot and launched the Press Play in Shreveport-Bossier campaign, a largely digital marketing campaign aimed at regional visitors. From May to July and September to December, the campaign generated 30,600 hotel rooms, which represents about $4.1 million in hotel revenue. The Shreveport-Bossier Sports Commission sales team became very aggressive and booked 114 sporting events in 2020 for that year and beyond. The convention sales team launched the Press Play in Shreveport hotel packages and hosted the Meeting Planners International-Dallas Chapter for the first time ever.
“I’m proud that my team didn’t let the depressed economy deflate their sales efforts,” said Brown. “Though 2020 didn’t go as we thought, we were able to pivot, rethink our sales strategies and work with clients for future bookings. No one can really say what the future holds. But as long as we can welcome visitors safely, we will. It pumps money into our local economy, keep our locals working and benefits our local businesses.”
To view the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau’s annual report, click here. For more information about scheduling meetings, hosting events, or planning leisure travels in Caddo or Bossier Parishes, visit www.Shreveport-Bossier.org.