The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) Freelance Council Convention officially kicked off last night at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Mayor Randy Roach and Shelley Johnson, executive director of the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau, welcomed 40 esteemed travel journalists in town over Mardi Gras.
Gumbeaux Gator and the 12th Night Revelers led the travel writers who came to Lake Charles from across the country in a Second Line. Writers were treated to delicious Cajun cuisine and the toe tapping beats of a Cajun band. Several Mardi Gras krewe members donned their sequins and feathers to give the journalists an up-close-and-personal look at the fabulous costumes.
“I am delighted to welcome the Society of American Travel Writers to south Louisiana. This is a great opportunity to showcase this exciting time of year surrounding Carnival season and to share the experience with their readers and supporters everywhere. Carnival season attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the globe to all corners of our great state which revel in this celebration. I look forward to visiting with the Society of American Travel Writers and showing them how we let the good times roll in Louisiana! Laissez les bons temps rouler!” said Lt. Governor Nungesser.
In addition to the Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras festivities, the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) assisted in coordinating professional development seminars, arranged for press tours of the Creole Nature Trail All-American Road, history and culinary delights.
“Lake Charles is the best of America – fantastic food, great people and real music,” said Paul Lasley, president of SATW and freelance writer who participated in the pre-conference press tour of Southwest Louisiana.
The economic impact of hosting SATW’s Freelance Council Convention should be seen in coming years through increased visitation to Southwest Louisiana as a result of stories written on the destination. In addition to the CVB, the Louisiana Office of Tourism is a presenting sponsor.
For more information on the Society of American Travel Writers, visit www.satw.org.