LTPA Leadership Academy visits Natchitoches

6/10/2016 Louisiana Travel Promotion Association (LTPA) Leadership Academy visits Natchitoches The LTPA Leadership Academy arrived in Natchitoches Thursday, June 9th to meet with local Leaders to discuss Product Development in one of Louisiana's major tourist destinations. The Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy (LTLA) was created to build tourism leaders by increasing their knowledge, developing their leadership skills, strengthening their communication networks and informing them about the responsibilities of leadership in building and enriching their tourism-related organizations. The Academy entails six class sessions to be held in various locations around the state of Louisiana. During the sessions the leaders are introduced to local and state tourism issues. They will meet established leaders from statewide public, private and non-profit related businesses and agencies. Through panel discussions, roundtables, presentations, tours and a group project, the Louisiana Tourism Leadership Academy will build a stronger tourism economy by building stronger leaders for the industry. Upon completion of the year’s activities the Leadership Academy attendees will be presented for graduation at the LTPA Annual Membership Meeting in January 2017.

The Natchitoches visit was held on Product Development. The leaders learned to better understand product development by answering the questions: 1) What assets do I have to build? 2) What is my product? 3) Do I have authenticity in my product? They visited Oakland Plantation and discovered stories and the history behind the plantation. The group enjoyed a lunch under the pavilion at Oakland and was welcomed by former resident Vivian Prudhomme Duggan and her husband, Ted. The Leadership Academy also visited the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame and Northwest Louisiana History Museum with a presentation led by Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Foundation Executive Director, Lisa Babin. A reception was held at the Samuel Guy House hosted by the Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau where the group took time to discover the Susan Harling Robinson Park and explore the American Cemetery. Friday consisted of a warm welcome from Mayor Lee Posey at the Natchitoches Event Center and presentations from Rebecca Blakenbaker of Cane River National Heritage Area and Debra Credeur of the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area.

The Natchitoches Convention and Visitors Bureau was privileged to host the LTPA Leadership Academy for the second year in a row and showcase the great product that is Natchitoches. Relishing in two new accolades from MSN, "One of the Cutest Towns in the South" and Southeast Tourism Society's winner of a Top 20 Event: the 90th Annual Christmas Festival of Lights", Natchitoches is honored to a be top travel destination in Louisiana. "It's an absolute pleasure to welcome our tourism partners from across the state to Natchitoches", stated Arlene Gould, Executive Director.