By Stacey Tinsley, BIZ. Magazine
Northwest Louisiana’s tourism industry got a huge boost June 29 with the announcement of national events bringing a multi-million-dollar impact to the area.
The Shreveport-Bossier Convention & Tourist Bureau (SBCTB) staff, tourism industry supporters and state government officials gathered at the Shreveport Convention Center tto announce three national conference events that will be coming to our area over the next two to three years.
The first event announced was the National Tour Association (NTA) Travel Exchange, which is set for Nov. 12-15, 2023.
NTA represents a global membership of tourism professionals involved in the growth and development of the packaged travel industry. Its membership includes tour operator companies – group, independent, inbound and outbound – and the destinations and suppliers that partner with them. Attendance for the event is expected to be approximately 500 to 700 people.
The immediate and residual economic impact, media exposure, relationship development, and ultimate increase in tourism are just a few of the benefits — the economic impact is predicted to be $1.7 million.
“Hosting this prestigious event affords Shreveport-Bossier tremendous exposure to the travel industry, and we thank the Louisiana Office of Tourism for helping to sponsor NTA,” said Stacy Brown, president/CEO of the SBCTB. “While the economic benefit is certainly exciting, we are truly looking forward to the marketing exposure NTA will ultimately bring.”
In addition to NTA, Shreveport-Bossier will host the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) which has over 200 members.
Like NTA, the media exposure hosting this conference is expected to be invaluable. The conference will be for SATW’s Central States Chapter which is the largest and most prolific of the organization’s four regional chapters and represents members from 20 states. Their members regularly produce travel articles, photography and broadcast segments that appear in publications, online and in broadcasts around the planet.
The conference is expected to draw 40 to 60 attendees from these states.
The final event announced at Wednesday’s press conference was secured just this week as Shreveport-Bossier’s bid to host the 74th Annual National Square Dance Convention was accepted.
Held in June 2025, the group is composed of both dance competitors and dance enthusiasts.
The event will be held at the Shreveport Convention Center and will bring almost 6,000 room nights to the area along with an expected total economic impact of more than $4 million.
“We have such an incredible team at the Shreveport-Bossier CTB,” added Brown. “We know Shreveport-Bossier is an incredible destination and the perfect location to host major national events. That, coupled with the dedication of a knowledgeable team, is what allows us to bring in events of this size which help to create a substantial economic impact for our area.”
Shreveport-Bossier CTB also welcomed a new employee at the press conference. While not new to the Bureau, David Bradley returns to CTB in a new role as the VP of Business Development. Bradley previously served at the Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau for six years as the Vice President of Sales and Services.
Bradley and North Louisiana Outreach Coordinator for the Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Mike Walsworth joined other tourism partners to speak about the importance of group sales and the impact conventions have on the local economy.
At the conclusion of the press conference, attendees were invited to tour the current event being held at the Shreveport Convention Center, the Gold Wing Road Riders Association Annual Conference – “Wing Ding 43.”
This was the first time the event was held in Louisiana and will utilize approximately 3,000 overnight hotel rooms in the area. The estimated economic impact for the community is $3 million and directly supports 1,460 jobs in Shreveport-Bossier.
The GWRRA is recognized as the world’s largest single-marquee conference for safety, technical, educational and social organization for riders of touring motorcycles. Once a year, members, their friends and many other motorcycle enthusiasts gather for the largest, most prestigious, ultimate and luxury touring motorcycle extravaganza in the world, called “Wing Ding.”
For more information about Shreveport-Bossier, visit: www.Shreveport-Bossier.org. And, for a complete list of events, visit: www.SBFunGuide.com.