Latest News

witti (Women in Travel & Tourism International)

July 13, 2011 Latest News


The Event

Women in Travel & Tourism and The Court of Two Sisters Invites you to a special Reception and Dinner in New Orleans, in conjunction with the DMAI Annual Convention. Women in Travel & Tourism International (witti) is an exciting new organization whose mission is to enhance the success of women in the travel and tourism industry through peer-to-peer networking, mentoring, lead sharing, and giving back to the global travel community in meaningful ways. Help us launch this new organization committed to promoting, connecting, and celebrating women in travel and tourism. Click here to register for the upcoming witti launch event at one of New Orleans' premier restaurants: The Court of Two Sisters in the heart of the historic French Quarter. The Organization Women in Travel & Tourism International (witti) is an exciting new organization whose mission is to enhance the success of women in the travel and tourism industry through peer-to-peer networking, mentoring, lead sharing, and giving back to the global travel community in meaningful ways. The first steps to organize this dynamic group have been taken, and we are now establishing our Founder’s Circle, The women and partner organizations who will help determine the directions of the organization’s key tenet: Connecting, Supporting, and Promoting Women’s Contributions in Travel and Tourism. The specific benefits witti will offer include: 1) Networking, through conferences, a listserve, and gatherings at major tourism conferences; 2) Lead sharing; 3) Education; and 4) Community service, to entail the funding of projects that help women in developing nations develop the skills and acquire tools to establish tourism-related businesses. Women and Partner organizations in the Founder’s Circle will help shape witti’s mission and global programming as we seek to serve women in our industry.  You also will be invited as special guests to speak at the inaugural meeting of witti in Orlando, 2012, as well as benefit from listings on our website and in promotional materials. witti plans to hold two meetings annually -- at Pow Wow (incorporating former FIT Brunch founded by Sharon Gaiptman of Alaska) and annually in partnership with the ONE Travel Conference each January. Our first meeting will follow the ONE Travel Conference January 15-17 in Orlando, FL. At the Hilton Orlando, Bonnet Creek. witti will also hold special events in conjunction with other conferences held by National Tour Association, and is approaching other Associations to co-host events at their annual conferences.  And, of course, we’ll create a vibrant online community through a web site and social media where we can all click, connect, and confer. Let Them Know Get involved now by e-mailing your response and areas of service interest (i.e. membership, bylaws, communications, etc.) to Laura Mandala at We hope you’ll say “YES!” to becoming a part of this extraordinary group, together we will plan, strategize, and connect to help women in travel and tourism everywhere. Witti Statement witti’s mission is to enhance the success of women in the travel and tourism industry through peer-to-peer networking, mentoring, lead sharing, and giving back to the global travel community in meaningful ways to serve women in the travel. witti is founded and led by Laura Mandala, managing director of Mandala Research & Consulting and former VP/Research with U.S. Travel.  witti is supported by the Collie Gorg Group (CGG), a management firm based near Washington DC specializing in growing organizations and associations.  CGG has experience with managing groups within travel and tourism and involvement with many travel, convention, and destination marketing organizations.

Tip of the Week: How to Find the Best Travel Rates

July 11, 2011 Latest News

Here is an interesting article that explains to you the best time to purchase plane tickets. Thinking of making an international visit to Louisiana? Now you should be. (this tip brought to you by Louisiana Tax Free Shopping)

COOLinary Restaurant Promotion

July 11, 2011 Latest News

NEW ORLEANSJuly 7, 2011— New Orleans has announced the line-up of more than 35 world-class restaurants for its seventh annual COOLinary restaurant promotion, offering special two and three-course lunch menus for $20 or less and three-course dinner menus for $35 or less, August 1-31, 2011. The event celebrates the famous, authentic cuisine of New Orleans and its culinary community, which according to Tom Fitzmorris and, currently boasts 1,205 restaurants. The COOLinary promotion runs throughout the month of August, coinciding with New Orleans summer hotel rates, a year-round unparalleled nightlife scene and one-of-a-kind attractions—making for the perfect summer vacation destination. “Food is at the core of New Orleans’ culture, and for the past seven years, COOLinary has extended a special invitation for visitors to dine at the city’s most prestigious and beloved restaurants,” said Kim Priez, Vice President of Tourism Sales for the New Orleans CVB. “This promotion creates an opportunity to enjoy signature meals from our award-winning chefs, all inspired by fresh Louisiana produce and products.” Restaurants participating in COOLinary 2011 include: 5 Fifty 5, 7 on Fulton, Antoine’s Restaurant, Bayona, The Bombay Club, Bon Ton Café, Bourbon House, Brennan’s Restaurant, Brigtsen’s, Café Adelaide, Café Degas, Café Giovanni, Commander’s Palace, Charlie’s Steak House, The Court of Two Sisters, The Crazy Lobster, Desire Seafood & Oyster Bar, Dickie Brennan’s Steakhouse, Emeril’s New Orleans, Feast, GW FINS, Latil’s Landing of Houmas House Plantation & Gardens, Lüke, M Bistro at The Ritz-Carlton, Mike’s on the Avenue, Mulates Cajun Restaurant, Muriel’s Jackson Square, One Restaurant & Lounge, Palace Café, The Pelican Club, Roux on Orleans, Royal Palm, Restaurant August, Sazerac Restaurant, Ste. Marie and Tujague’s Restaurant. Visit to see the growing list of restaurants and to learn more about COOLinary New Orleans. Unique specials as well as the latest information and menus from participating restaurants are also available on the official COOLinary website.

No more sales Tax! August 5 & 6

July 8, 2011 Latest News

Most consumer purchases exempt from state sales tax August 5 & 6 2011 Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday, just in time for back-to-school shopping The majority of consumer purchases are exempt state sales taxes during the 2011 Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday on Friday, August 5, and Saturday, August 6. The sales tax holiday exempts the first $2,500 of the purchase price of each eligible item from the four percent state sales tax.  The law describes eligible items as “individual items of tangible personal property for non-business use.” Purchases are eligible for the sales tax exemption under the following conditions:

  • The customer buys and accepts delivery of eligible property;
  • The customer places property on layaway;
  • The customer acquires property that was previously placed on layaway; or
  • The customer places an order for immediate delivery, even if delivery must be delayed, provided that the customer has not requested delayed shipment.

The Louisiana Annual Sales Tax Holiday exemption does not apply to:

  • Vehicles subject to license and title
  • Meals prepared for consumption on premises or to-go
  • Taxable services such as hotel occupancy, laundry services, printing services, telecommunication services, the furnishing of cold storage space, leases or rentals of tangible personal property, repairs to tangible personal property, and admission to athletic, amusement, or recreational facilities or events

For retailers, a $25-per register tax credit is available for the reprogramming of cash registers in preparation for the sales tax holiday. Visit for more information.

Walk it Off After You Eat Louisiana Right

July 7, 2011 Latest News

Muffuletta"The roll is a flat round loaf about 10-inches in diameter, and the sandwiches are cut in quarters and sold by the half or whole. A quarter is enough for some, a half as big as most large sandwiches, and a whole ($14.50) usually shared, split for lunch and dinner, or for the heartiest appetites"


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