The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau is launching a weeklong promotion to showcase the community’s resiliency with an all-new Shreveport-Bossier Comeback campaign, which will run in conjunction with the 37th Annual National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), May 3-9. This campaign includes a partnership with United Way of Northwest Louisiana in an effort to financially assist staff members in the tourism industry, including restaurants, attractions, casinos, hotels and more that were affected by COVID-19.
Tourism locally employs more than 10,000 hardworking men and women. The domestic and international tourism economic impact to Caddo and Bossier Parishes combined is about $761 million, according to Tourism Spending in Louisiana 2018 report published for the Louisiana Office of Tourism. The Tourist Bureau and United Way aim to meet the overall needs of the tourism industry by celebrating the accomplishments and resilience of the local travel industry and by offering financial assistance in the face of the global pandemic.
This partnership includes a joint fundraising effort to support a large segment of the ALICE (Asset Limited Income Constrained Employed) population with a COVID Relief Fund. As the needs of these ALICE families evolve, the United for NWLA fund will also evolve to address ALICE’s most urgent, unmet needs. ALICE is a new way of defining and understanding the struggles of households that earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but not enough to afford a bare-bones household budget. The most recent ALICE report shows that 53% of households in Northwest Louisiana struggle to make ends meet day-to-day. United Way is currently accepting donations and applications for the Shreveport-Bossier Hospitality Relief Fund. For more information, visit www.unitedwaynwla.org.
“A large segment of the ALICE population are often one car repair, health emergency or missed paycheck away from falling into financial crisis,” said Dr. Bruce Willson, Jr., president and CEO of United Way. “This partnership between United Way and Shreveport-Bossier Tourist and Convention Bureau will hopefully assist individuals and families from falling off a financial cliff.”
Since in-person rallies and events that have been hallmarks of NTTW in years past are no longer an option, the Tourist Bureau is rolling out a virtual-specific marketing campaign, Shreveport-Bossier Comeback. This campaign was built to boost a durable community comeback that is strictly aligned with government mandates and the unwavering spirit of travel in an effort to support Shreveport-Bossier’s economy. A few components of this campaign include interactive social media content, strategic marketing initiatives, thematic editorial pieces, and digital promotions that spark the interest of Shreveport-Bossier residents and visitors.
“Although we can’t meet in person, we can stay connected, unified and supportive of one another from afar while rallying around the spirit of travel. We anticipate a robust comeback for our community,” said Stacy Brown, president of The Tourist Bureau. “Shreveport-Bossier has a reputation of being a premier destination in the Ark-La-Tex region, so when travelers can safely visit, we will welcome them back.”