Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism (DCRT) - Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT)
04/30/18 4:30 PM Deliver or Postmarked by Date
Grants to Louisiana nonprofit and for-profit organizations for the marketing and promotion of tourism opportunities within the state. The purpose of this program is to attract and retain visitors while positively impacting Louisiana’s economy. Funds are available to reimburse a portion of the qualifying marketing expenses associated with promoting a tourism event.
A “Tourism Event” is a time-bound, non-continuous activity that attracts visitors from beyond a 50-mile radius of the event and creates a positive perception of Louisiana as a tourism destination.
A Tourism Event is distinguished from a community event by its ability to attract a significant percentage of its attendees from greater than 50 miles beyond the community’s boundaries.
The nature of the event, the name of the event, its location, how the event is marketed, the intended audience, and how the organizers plan to measure performance/success are all examples of information that can be used by the LOT to determine whether the activity is a Tourism Event.
A “First-Time” Tourism Event is a Tourism Event that:
(i) has not occurred in the past ten years, and
(ii) has never received funding from the LOT.
The Applicant must submit a letter from the local Convention and Visitors Bureau or Destination Marketing Organization certifying that the Tourism Event is a “First-Time” Tourism Event.
Eligible Tourism Events:
-Fairs and Festivals
-Tourism Events that will bring future travel to Louisiana (e.g., Society of American Travel Writers)
-Competitions or Sporting Events – regional, national or international championships or competitions held in Louisiana that draw participants from at least three (3) states or from another country
-Grand Opening of a brand new Louisiana tourism attraction
-Other events determined by the LOT to fulfill the goals and objectives of this Program
Qualifying Media/Marketing Expenses:
-Billboards (located outside Louisiana; along interstate)
-Radio (must include the phrase, “Visit LouisianaTravel.com to plan your trip today.”)
-Television (Logo must be visible for at least 4 seconds)
-Banner ads on travel websites (e.g., Orbitz.com; lastminute.com) and websites directly connected to an eligible media outlet (e.g., SouthernLiving.com; DallasNews.com).
All timely, complete, and eligible applications will be reviewed, ranked, and recommended for funding based upon the evaluation criteria listed here. LOT may also consider such factors as scope or classification of application and event, number of applications received, past performance and cooperation with program guidelines for previous LOT grant/sponsorship recipients, and other relevant factors.
Marketing and media Plans - LOT will evaluate the degree to which the Marketing and Media Plans are:
(1) Thorough and concise (e.g., includes specific media, placements, timelines of advertising, cost of media, circulation rate/audience reach and target markets)
(2) Compliant with Program Guidelines
(3) Strategic, so that the Plans reflect a design or plan to achieve the Event’s goals and measurable objectives
(4) Targeted to create results (i.e., is able to attract visitors from outside a 50-mile radius of the Tourism Event)
(5) Realistic in the Plans’ goals and have specific/measurable objectives. (Example 1: Goal: increased attendance at Roller Skate Festival. Measurement(s): number of tickets sold to the festival; food and beverage revenue collections at the festival; hotel occupancy rates during the dates of the festival. Example 2: Goal: increased visitation to XYZ parish. Measurement(s): hotel/motel tax collections; number of visitors to information center).
i. Stated goals must have measurable objectives. “Increased awareness of XYZ parish” is not an acceptable goal. Baseline measurements must be provided in the final report so Applicant must be prepared to provide year-over-year statistics for stated measurements.
Tourism Event – The LOT will evaluate the degree to which the Tourism Event:
(1) Will benefit the state, generally
(2) Will produce specific, quantifiable results including but not limited to estimated and past attendance, registration/participation numbers, admissions revenue, registration fees collected, number of hotel room nights/occupancy rates/ADR (average daily rate), food and beverage tax, and average visitor spending
(3) Has a sound plan to measure achievement of objectives
(4) Will generate significant economic impact to the local area, state, and/or region
(5) Will deliver a strong return on investment (ROI) for the economy
(6) Can deliver a quality experience relative to the applicant’s available resources
GrantWatch ID#: 179090
The maximum grant award in the FY 18-19 Grant Cycle is $10,000.
The fiscal year 2018-19 grant round is open to applicants who produce tourism events held July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019.
A Tourism Event may be eligible to receive a Program grant for up to three (3) consecutive years.
Applications will be accepted from both nonprofit and for-profit organizations.
Ineligible Tourism Events:
-Conferences and conventions with the exception of national tourism media conferences held in Louisiana
-Events held in multiple areas of the state (e.g., Mardi Gras, holiday parades, MLK or 4th of July celebrations, parish fairs, sports tournaments)
-Additions, refurbishments or new exhibits to an attraction
Ineligible Marketing Expenses:
-Maps, brochures, rack cards, flyers or posters
-Media production, design or editing expenses
-Interactive advertising on LouisianaTravel.com
-Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization
-Social media websites (e.g., Facebook, You Tube, Twitter)
-Annual guides, planners, and directories
-Marketing promotional videos
A Grantee is eligible to receive reimbursement of 50% of the total cost of pre-approved Qualifying Marketing Expenses associated with the promotion of a Tourism Event up to the maximum amount of the grant award (e.g., a $1,000 Qualifying Marketing Expense is eligible for reimbursement of $500).
A Grantee is eligible to receive reimbursement of 66% of the total cost of pre-approved Qualifying Marketing Expenses associated with the promotion of a First-Time Tourism Event up to the maximum amount of the grant award (e.g., a $1,000 Qualifying Marketing Expense is eligible for reimbursement of $660.00).
State funds from any source may not be used for the mandatory cash match.
To determine if an event is eligible for the CGP, it is highly recommended that prospective applicants submit an event summary in writing to LOT for review prior to submitting a grant application and at least two weeks in advance of the grant deadline. Should you have any questions about the grant guidelines or wish to submit an event summary for review, please contact Peter Chol.
Application packet and supporting documentation must be postmarked by Monday, April 30, 2018, or hand-delivered by 4:30 PM on Monday, April 30, 2018. Faxed, emailed, or late applications cannot be accepted.
LOT will announce awards by June 30, 2018.
After the Tourism Event, a single payment will be made on a reimbursement basis upon Grantee’s submission of an invoice, final report, and appropriate supporting documentation of expenses.
Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.
Louisiana Office of Tourism
Competitive Grant Program
Attn: Peter Chol
P.O. Box 94291
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9291
Physical Address for Express Mail / Hand-delivery:
Louisiana Office of Tourism
Competitive Grant Program
Attn: Peter Chol
1051 N. Third St., Room 342
Baton Rouge, LA 70802