Most residents of the river region have never heard about the River Parishes Tourist Commission, its purpose, much less its value to the community. We are a regional government agency, created by the state legislature, represent three parishes, and each parish appoints three members to our board. We are funded by occupancy taxes paid by visitors at hotels, b&bs and RV parks throughout the parishes. Our job is to bring visitors to stay in our hotels, visit our attractions, and enjoy the countless offerings of our culture.
In the last three years, our efforts have brought in $450,920,000 to the region’s businesses, $21,580,000 in taxes to local governments, and supported 2,130 jobs. We are economic development by the very definition of the trade. We bring outside money into our communities. We are, in fact, one of the cleanest forms of economic development since our visitors travel here, spend their money, (maybe leave a dirty dish or two), and then go home. What’s left is revenue in the pockets of our attractions, artists, restaurants, lounges, coffee shops, transportation companies, hotels, B&Bs, swamp tours, museums, andouille makers, and the list goes on.
When we do our job, we help to make our communities more attractive to visitors and ultimately a great place to live.
The brand we use to attract visitors is New Orleans Plantation Country. Established in 2007, our brand has been effective in attracting millions of visitors who flock from around the nation and world to tour the large properties along the river. Our brand is strong and easily recognized by potential visitors. Our proximity to New Orleans is a strength while the plantations along the river continue to attract visitors to learn about our region’s complicated history. That being said, we must continue to expand the product we offer the visitor so we are not just “plantation country;” but, the rich, diverse, and culturally complex region we actually are. This will take time and teamwork from the entire region. Our team and board are committed to working in that direction and ask for your support on this journey. It will not happen overnight, but we’ve made great strides in 2018 and look forward to continuing to invite the world to visit one of the most unique places on the planet.
As was said at our brand re-launch event last month…our sugarcane waves in the wind to the beat of our soul music as the leaves of the mighty oak dance to the song of the field. So, if you don’t know about andouille or perique tobacco, the rum distillery in Paulina or brewery in Reserve, the Lourdes grotto replica made from sugarcane bagasse in Convent, the 1811 Slave Revolt that started in Destrehan, seen the children at Whitney Plantation, tasted Houmas House honey, heard the story of br’er rabbit at Laura, smelled like a bonfire, taken a swamp tour in a kayak, walked along the nature trail in the Spillway, hooked a catfish in Des Allemands, or tapped your feet to the soul music at Historic Riverlands…then, we invite you to visit www.visitnopc.com or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request our new destination guide and explore #OutHere.
A letter written by:
Chairman, River Parishes Tourist Commission
Executive Director, River Parishes Tourist Commission