Seratones Album Release Block Party
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Have you ever seen the Official Visitors’ Guide to Shreveport-Bossier? If you’re a local, you may not be familiar with this annual publication of the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. But, for potential visitors and others outside of Shreveport-Bossier, the Visitors’ Guide is their first impression of our community.
Creating the guide each year is a massive undertaking that requires the attention of several Tourist Bureau staffers. The 2019 edition, which was just released following a months-long layout and editing process, can be downloaded or viewed online at www.Shreveport-Bossier.org.
Approximately 90,000 guides are printed annually, and about 4,000 copies are mailed out to communities like Dallas, Arlington, Houston, and Little Rock. Others are distributed at visitor centers, welcome centers and information kiosks throughout the region. Out-of-towners can call (800) 551-8682 to request that a free, printed copy of the guide be mailed to their home at no charge.
Guides may be picked up locally at Visitor Centers operated by the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau at 629 Spring Street in downtown Shreveport and near the baggage claim at Shreveport Regional Airport.
Each edition of the guide is jam-packed with information and photos of local attractions, restaurants, hotels, casinos, and festivals. Inside, readers can learn about topics ranging from Shreveport-Bossier’s musical history to the local arts community. There is a calendar of annual festivals and events, and sections dedicated to shopping, dining, nightlife, and more.
The 2019 Visitors’ Guide features guitarist and singer AJ Haynes on the cover. Haynes is a Shreveport resident whose rock band, Seratones, is one of the region’s fastest-rising music groups. Past covers of the guide have featured David Doe of Herby-K’s, Chef Panderina Soumas of the upcoming reality television show Panderina on the Red, Louisiana Food Prize-winning Chef Tootie Morrison, and Katie Larsen of The Agora Borealis arts marketplace.
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Some readers may wonder why it is necessary for destinations to produce printed visitor guides and operate welcome centers in the age of the internet. You may be surprised to know that nearly 13,000 tourists visited the two Visitor Centers operated by the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau in 2018. This number actually grew by 4.1% over 2017, which runs contrary to the popular notion that printed guides are declining in popularity.
Maybe the Visitors’ Guide is hanging on to its relevance simply because it’s not an online publication, surrounded by ads and tracking the user’s every click. There could also be the fact that destination marketing organizations like the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau have increasingly approached their visitor guides as sleek, highly produced travel magazines instead of simple directories of hotels, attractions, and restaurants. The last thing the world needs is another phone book. The best visitor guides offer an insider’s look at the city, complete with travel tips, recommendations from locals and more.
I am approaching my 10th year in the destination marketing industry, and I can say with confidence that the 2019 Official Visitors’ Guide to Shreveport-Bossier is one of the coolest visitor guides that I have personally seen produced. Flipping through its pages, I see a Shreveport-Bossier that is fun, diverse, and growing. I’d encourage all locals to take a moment to explore the new guide and share it with an out-of-town friend who you’d like to invite for a visit.
To download, view, or request the 2019 Official Visitors’ Guide to Shreveport-Bossier, visit www.Shreveport-Bossier.org, call (800) 551-8682.
Chris Jay is the public relations and social media manager for the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau. Email Chris at [email protected]
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