Louisiana Office of Tourism Opens Application Period for Two Tourism Grant Opportunities
BATON ROUGE, La. – The Louisiana Office of Tourism (LOT) announced the application period is now open for two tourism grant programs for FY20. The programs include the Competitive Grant Program (CGP) and the Cooperative Marketing Program (CMP). The Competitive Grant Program awards grants of up to $10,000 to help fund marketing initiatives for tourism events held throughout Louisiana from July 1, 2019, through June 30, 2020. Details about the grant program were shared in a press release.
The Cooperative Marketing Program offers grants up to $20,000 to help support Louisiana-based convention and visitors bureaus (CVBs), tourist commissions, and other eligible organizations in the marketing and promotion of Louisiana tourism in their area. Applications for both grant opportunities must be postmarked by Wednesday, April 24, 2019.
“These tourism grants allow us to promote the entire state and offers our partners an important extra push that can make a difference in a successful tourism event or campaign,” said lieutenant governor Billy Nungesser. “For every dollar we invest in promoting the state we see a return on that investment of $38. With more than 400 fairs and festivals around the state and countless attractions, I’m proud that the Louisiana Office of Tourism can continue to help our CVBs promote their areas.”
“These LOT grants are an exceptional opportunity to strengthen marketing efforts and increase the number of visitors not only attending each event, but also traveling into the state,” said Assistant Secretary Doug Bourgeois. “Louisiana has seen a record-breaking increase in the number of visitors each of the last six years, so it’s important we keep promoting our state to continue that momentum. The more people we can reach, the more benefit the state and parishes will see.”
The CGP is aimed at increasing and improving out-of-state visitation and economic impact in all areas around the state. One grant, up to a maximum of $10,000, is awarded per event, per year. Events need to apply for the grant every year, with a three consecutive year limit. After receiving a program grant for a third year consecutive year, a tourism event will be ineligible for another grant for one complete grant cycle.
A tourism event is an event in Louisiana that is a time-bound, non-continuous activity attracting visitors from beyond a 50-mile radius of the event and creates a positive perception of Louisiana as a tourism destination. If the event is a first-time event, meaning it has not occurred in the past 10 years and has never received a grant award, the applicant must submit a letter from the local Convention and Visitors Bureau or Destination Marketing Organization certifying it as such.
Eligible Tourism Events
- Fairs and Festivals
- Tourism Events bringing 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 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 the CGP
Ineligible Tourism Events
- Award Ceremonies
- Church 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 July 4th celebrations, parish fairs, etc.)
- Family Reunions
- Anniversary celebrations
- Additions, refurbishments, or new exhibits to an attraction
- Sweepstakes promotion
A grant award winner is eligible to receive reimbursement of 50 percent of the total cost of pre-approved qualified marketing expenses associated with the promotion of the event up to the maximum amount of the award. For example, a $1,000 qualifying marketing expense is eligible for reimbursement of $500. A first time tourism event is eligible to receive a reimbursement of 66 percent for a pre-approved qualifying marketing expense. For example, a $1,000 qualifying marketing expense is eligible for a reimbursement of $660. Following the event, a single payment will be made on a reimbursement basis upon submission of an invoice, final report, and appropriate support documentation of expenses.
The Louisiana Office of Tourism will make every effort to announce CGP grant awards by June 28, 2019, pending action in the 2019 Regular Session that could affect funding for the program.
More information on the FY20 Competitive Grant Program and a link to the application can be found on the Louisiana Office of Tourism Grants webpage.