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LDR News Release - New Law Waives Retailer Participant Fee for Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program

June 10, 2014 Latest News

Governor signs bill authorizing permanent free membership for retailers   NEW ORLEANS – Governor Bobby Jindal has signed a bill into law that permanently waives the participant fee for the state's retailers who wish to participate in the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program for International Visitors (LTFS).  Act 106 of the 2014 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature is expected to greatly expand the number of businesses who can now take advantage of a program that boosts sales and promotes Louisiana shopping to the world.    “This is a tremendous opportunity for retailers in Louisiana to greatly expand their customer base,” said LTFS Commission Chairman Steven Windham.  “We're grateful to the legislature and to our governor for having the vision to waive the participation fee and help grow the Tax Free Shopping Program.  We look forward to working even harder on behalf of the new businesses that will be joining us in the coming months and years, along with those who are already members.” LTFS is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.  The program allows international visitors to Louisiana to receive cash refunds for sales taxes paid on eligible purchases of tangible items (not including lodging, food, and services).  Visitors can apply for refunds at six locations throughout the state, including New Orleans, Metairie, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Bossier City, and Louis Armstrong International Airport.   The expansion of the program over the past 25 years has seen a direct correlation between its growth and an increase in sales to international visitors.  As one of only two programs of its kind in the United States, LTFS gives the state's merchants a competitive advantage over surrounding states, often influencing visitors’ travel plans.  Studies show that international visitors tend to stay longer in a destination and spend more on shopping than domestic travelers. There are currently over 900 retailers in Louisiana participating in the LTFS program, ranging in size from large department stores to small independent boutiques and specialty vendors.  The program actively reaches out to a global market, working with the largest travel associations in Europe, South America, and Asia.  LTFS also works closely with all Louisiana tourism promotion agencies to give participating stores maximum exposure to the lucrative international travel and tourism industry. Merchants wishing to join the program or to learn more can call (504) 484-4739, or visit the member information section at www.louisianataxfree.com.   Louisiana Tax Free Shopping offers international visitors to the state the opportunity to receive cash refunds for sales taxes paid on tangible items purchased at participating tax-free stores and permanently removed from the United States.  Visitors can apply for refunds at six locations throughout the state, including New Orleans, Metairie, Baton Rouge, Lafayette, Bossier City, and Louis Armstrong International Airport.  For more information: www.louisianataxfree.com

Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Remembers Francis E.

March 28, 2014 Latest News

New Orleans – March 28, 2014 – The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Commission and LTFS staff today mourned the loss of former state senator Francis E. “Hank” Lauricella. Mr. Lauricella was instrumental in the founding of the tax free shopping program and a long time champion of international trade in Louisiana. Mr. Lauricella served in the legislature for 32 years, first during two terms in the House and then as a state senator from 1972 until he retired in 1996. His leadership in the senate, along with Ben Bagert, and Ken Hollis, and Jim Donelon, Woody Jenkins and Charles Lancaster in the house of representatives was crucial in helping pass Act 535 that created LTFS. Governor Buddy Roemer signed the bill into law in 1988 and the first refund center opened in 1989. Mr. Lauricella was subsequently appointed by Governor Roemer to the commission that oversees the tax free shopping program, where he served from 1988 until 2003. “As we mark the 25th anniversary of tax free shopping, we are saddened that Louisiana has lost a great leader and a true friend to international trade and development,” said LTFS Commission Chairman Steven Windham. “His vision for what could be in our region, and indeed the entire state, was crucial both during his time in the legislature and after. It's fair to say that the tax free shopping program for international visitors might not have existed without him.” At the time of the passing of the legislation that created LTFS, no other state in the union had such a program, and as of today only one other provides a similar benefit to international visitors. In addition to his leadership in creating such a unique program, Mr. Lauricella was also a champion for other projects that have been critical to the region's economic development. He was a strong supporter of the Louisiana Superdome, the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, Louis Armstrong International Airport, and the Port of New Orleans. Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. A wake will be held Tuesday, April 1 from 5-9 p.m. and visitation will be held Wednesday, April 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. with Mass to follow at St. Rita Church in Harahan, La.

LTFS Opens additional refund centers in Downtown New Orleans

January 5, 2014 Latest News

Louisiana Tax Free Shopping opens temporary refund centers in Downtown New Orleans New Orleans – International visitors to Louisiana will enjoy the convenience of two tax free shopping redemption centers within the Downtown New Orleans Area to serve as temporary locations until the Outlets at Riverwalk reopens. These centers will process the paperwork for eligible shoppers to receive cash refunds for sales taxes under the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program for International Visitors (LTFS). In June, the Riverwalk Marketplace closed temporarily to begin construction on The Outlets at Riverwalk, a new outlet mall to replace the current marketplace. The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Redemption Center located within the Marketplace was then required to close as well. In an attempt to provide a more stream-lined process for international visitors, LTFS has partnered with the New Orleans Convention Center and the Port of New Orleans to house temporary refund centers until The Outlets at Riverwalk opens in the second quarter of 2014. The two locations are: The Ernest Morial New Orleans Convention Center Redemption Center which will be open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m. and will be located at the ticket counter OUTSIDE of hall A Opens November 12th The Port of New Orleans Redemption Center which will be open on Saturday and Sundays from 10:00 a. m. – 3:00 p.m located at the Erato terminal. Opens November 23rd “Retail shopping is one of the top activities for international visitors coming to Louisiana,” said Steven Windham, Chairman of the LTFS Commission. “We’re excited to partner with the Ernest Morial New Orleans Convention Center and the Port of New Orleans to provide our customers with another alternative for obtaining a refund while The Outlets at Riverwalk refund center is closed due to construction in that mall. The LTFS Program provides international visitors with an exemption from sales taxes for most retail purchases. In order to be eligible for the program, a visitor must be travelling on a foreign passport with a current U.S. tourist visa and be staying in the country for less than 90 days. Established in 1989, the LTFS Program has assisted over 600,000 international visitors spending over $500 million dollars while shopping in Louisiana.

New Orleans Tops the Charts in Several Categories of Travel

November 16, 2011 Latest News

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contacts:
City of New Orleans                                                    NOTMC                                             New Orleans CVB
Office of Mayor Mitch Landrieu                                Lea Sinclair                                        Kelly Schulz
Ryan Berni                                                                     504-826-9710                                      504-566-5019
504-621-9504                                                                  lea@notmc.com kschulz@neworleanscvb.com
rfberni@nola.gov

New Orleans Tops the Charts in Several Categories of Travel +Leisure’s
2011 America’s Favorite Cities Survey
Travelers recognize NOLA’s nightlife, restaurants, shopping and people-watching, locals express city pride


NEW ORLEANS – Nov. 15, 2011 – Frequent travelers in the Travel + Leisure (T+L) magazine 2011 America’s Favorite Cities survey voted New Orleans as the number one destination for live music/concerts and bands, wild weekends, cocktail hour, singles/bar scene, fine-dining restaurants, friendliest people, cafes, antique stores, flea markets and people-watching. T+L also found that New Orleanians are most proud of their city compared to residents of the other 34 cities in the survey.

 

"We are blessed with one of the most dynamic, rich and culturally diverse cities in the world,” said Mayor Landrieu. “In addition to hosting millions of leisure travelers, we look forward to hosting an unprecedented series of international events over the next 18 months and beyond, which gives us another opportunity to highlight our unique culture, cuisine, architecture and music.”

“The survey results remind us that residents of our city of 340,000 enjoy a cultural quality of life as do those in much larger cities because of the number of culinary, museum, nightlife, sporting and shopping assets made possible by the tourism industry,” said Stephen Perry, President and CEO of the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Tourism supports thousands of small and mid-sized businesses and brings together neighborhoods in shared activities and iconic events, once created for locals, but now recognized by tourists as the best of any destination in the country.”

"These rankings help underscore the attractiveness that New Orleans continues to have for millions of travelers each year,” said Mark Romig, CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. “From the visitor who wants to explore the rich history of early New Orleans, or the family that wants to experience the culinary cornucopia of our more than 1,000 restaurants, to the visitor who wants to explore our many cultural assets, our city offers a uniqueness unlike any other American city."

The annual online survey appeared on travelandleisure.com from May 16, 2011, to August 15, 2011. Respondents were asked to identify if they were visitors or residents, then asked to rank their choice of 35 cities from across the country in different categories on culture, hotels, shopping, people, food and other characteristics. The survey features a total of 54 questions across eight categories. New Orleans and other Favorite Cities winners are featured in T + L magazine’s November 2011 issue.

 

Visitors ranked New Orleans in the top three in the following subcategories:

Shopping


  •     
  • Antique Stores (1)

  •     
  • Flea Markets (1)

  •     
  • Independent Boutiques (1)


  •  


Best Times to Visit

 


  •     
  • Christmas

  •     
  • New Year’s Eve

  •     
  • Fall


  •  


People

 

 


  •     
  • Diverse

  •     
  • Friendly (1)

  •     
  • Off-Beat (1)

  •     
  • Proud of their City (1)


  •  


Nightlife (1)

 

 


  •     
  • Singles/Bar Scene (1)

  •     
  • Live Music/Concerts and      Bands (1)

  •     
  • Cocktail Hour (1)


  •  


Quality of Life and Visitor Experience

 

 


  •     
  • People-watching (1)

  •     
  • Lots of Hotel Options

  •     
  • Architecture/Cool      Buildings


  •  


Type of Trip

 

 


  •     
  • Wild Weekend (1)


  •  


Food/Drink/Restaurants

 

 


  •     
  • Cafes (1)

  •     
  • Fine Dining Restaurants      (1)

  •     
  • Ethnic Food


  •  


In addition to the honors voted by visitors, locals were also given the chance to tout their city and gave New Orleans a top three ranking in the following subcategories:

 

 

People


  •     
  • Diverse

  •     
  • Friendly

  •     
  • Off-Beat

  •     
  • Proud of their City (1)

  •     
  • Sports-Crazed


  •  


Nightlife (1)

 


  •     
  • Cocktail Hour (1)

  •     
  • Live Music/Concerts and      Bands (1)

  •     
  • Singles/Bar Scene (1)


  •  


Shopping (1)

 

 


  •     
  • Antique Stores (1)

  •     
  • Flea Markets (1)

  •     
  • Independent Boutiques (1)


  •  


Food/Drink/Restaurants

 

 


  •     
  • Cafes (1)

  •     
  • Fine-Dining Restaurants


  •  


Quality of Life and Visitor Experience

 

 


  •     
  • People-Watching (1)

  •     
  • Lots of Hotel Options


  •  


Best Times to Visit

 

 


  •     
  • Fall (1)

  •     
  • New Year’s Eve

  •     
  • Winter


  •  


Type of Trip

 

 


  •     
  • Cultural Getaway

  •     
  • Wild Weekend (1)


  •  


Cities also included in the 2011 America’s Favorite Cities survey were: Anchorage; Atlanta; Austin; Baltimore; Boston; Charleston; Chicago; Dallas/Fort Worth; Denver; Honolulu; Houston; Kansas City; Las Vegas; Los Angeles; Miami; Memphis; Minneapolis/St. Paul; Nashville; New York; Orlando; Philadelphia; Phoenix/Scottsdale; Portland, Maine; Portland, Oregon; Providence; Salt Lake City; San Antonio; San Diego; San Francisco; San Juan; Santa Fe; Savannah; Seattle; and Washington, D.C.

 

 

About New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
The New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation promotes the city as a leisure tourism destination throughout the year. Annually, NOTMC’s marketing campaigns include strategic print, broadcast, and Internet advertising and public relations. Web sites: www.NewOrleansOnline.com; www.NewOrleansMuseums.com; www.RadioFreeNeworleans.com; www.gonola.com.
Facebook: www.facebook.com/NewOrleansOnline. Twitter: www.Twitter.com/visitneworleans.
About The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau
The New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau is a nationally accredited, 1,000-member destination marketing organization and the largest and most successful private economic development corporation in Louisiana. We help create $5 billion in new capital each year- more than any other business sector- by attracting millions of visitors, special events and conventions. The CVB and its members influence thousands of decision-makers and millions of visitors to choose New Orleans through direct sales, marketing, public relations, branding and visitor services at our New Orleans headquarters and offices in Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago and four foreign countries. Consistently recognized as one of the top five CVBs in the country, the New Orleans CVB celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2010. For more information, please visit www.neworleanscvb.com. Sam Ortiz


About Travel + Leisure
With an eye for the authentic, the innovative, and the irresistible, Travel + Leisure (www.travelandleisure.com, @travlandleisure) fuses expert reporting on culture, food, style, and design with stunning photography, transporting readers to the places—and the travel experiences—that matter now. T+L, the monthly title from American Express Publishing and the long-standing authority in its field, has the largest audience of any travel magazine and is an indispensable guide for global nomads. Travel + Leisure has a network of international editions, including Travel + Leisure Mexico, Travel + Leisure Turkey, Travel + Leisure China, Travel + Leisure South Asia, and Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia.

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for more information please contact the New Orleans Convention and Visitor Bureau

Hotel Modern to replace Le Cirque at Lee Circle

October 4, 2011 Latest News

Hotel Modern to replace Le Cirque at Lee Circle

by Maria Clark, New Media Specialist

October 4th, 2011 · No Comments · Blog

The Hotel Modern New Orleans will open in mid-November at the location of the former Le Cirque Hotel on Lee Circle. Hotelier Klaus Ortlieb, the managing partner of New York City’s Cooper Square Hotel and The Gotham Hotel, wanted to open a lifestyle hotel in New Orleans that would combine efficiency with comfort. Without a check-in desk, guests are greeted instead with a complimentary drink and then escorted to their rooms. The hotel is about 95,000 square feet with 135 guest rooms and suites. It will feature a restaurant and lounge with a menu of original cocktails created by the owners of Cure on Freret Street. New Orleans chef Dominique Macquet, the owner of Dominique’s on Magazine Street, will open Tamarind at The Hotel Modern New Orleans, which will serve Vietnamese cuisine from the time period Vietnam was colonized by the French. The hotel remained open during the renovations, which began in early August. The renovations are mainly aesthetic, including an upgrade of all the interior furniture in the lobby and guest rooms. The exterior of the hotel was painted grey with a black awning and will be lit up with orange lights instead of the pink and purple hues that lit up Le Cirque. This is Ortlieb’s first venture in New Orleans. “Not everyone wants to stay overnight in the French Quarter. This hotel is in an up and coming area that is culturally rich with all the galleries,” Ortlieb said.

LSU Game to be broadcasted in Spanish

September 30, 2011 Latest News

*From:* Michael Bonnette *Sent:* Friday, September 30, 2011 11:25 AM *Subject:* HISTORIA! LSU-KENTUCKY GAME TO BE BROADCAST IN SPANISH **** ** ** *LSU SPORTS INFORMATION* *For Immediate Release September 30, 2011* * * *HISTORIA! LSU-KENTUCKY GAME TO BE BROADCAST IN SPANISH * ** ** BATON ROUGE – Historia (or history) will be made on Saturday as for the first time, an LSU football game in Tiger Stadium will be broadcast on the radio in Spanish, LSU Sports Properties announced this week. **** ** ** The game can be heard on KDDK 105.5 FM in the Baton Rouge area and KGLA 1540 AM and KGLA 105.7 FM in the New Orleans area. Saturday’s broadcast starts at 11 a.m. **** ** ** "We are so excited for our listeners and our growing Hispanic community in southeast Louisiana to be able to bring the excitement of LSU Football in their own language," said Ernesto Schweikert, General Manager of KGLA and KDDK radio. “Viva Los Tigres de LSU!”**** ** ** Schweikeirt, who was the first Spanish broadcaster for the New Orleans Saints from 1992-95, will be joined on the broadcast by former Tiger linebacker Carlos Hornbrook and James Vilas. **** ** ** Hornbrook, a native of Ecuador, was a member of LSU’s Orange Bowl team in 1982. Vilas graduated from LSU in 1985 and was a member of the school’s men’s soccer club. **** ** ** The Kentucky game is the first of at least two LSU home games that will be broadcast in Spanish this season. The Western Kentucky game on Nov. 12 will also be broadcast in Spanish.  **** ** ** --30—**** ** ** Lsu.ftball**** 9-30-11**** ** ** Contact: Michael Bonnette**** 225.578.8226**** mbonnet@lsu.edu ****

LTFS Grand Opening in Baton Rouge

September 12, 2011 Latest News

 

Louisiana Tax Free Shopping opens first Baton Rouge area refund center

BATON ROUGE – International visitors to Louisiana will enjoy the convenience of Baton Rouge’s first tax-free shopping refund center when it opens on September 15, 2011.  The refund center processes the paperwork for eligible shoppers to receive cash refunds for sales taxes under the Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program for International Visitors (LTFS).  The Baton Rouge refund center joins existing ones in Lafayette, Metairie, New Orleans and Shreveport. Macy’s in the Mall of Louisiana is the location of the Baton Rouge LTFS refund center. “Retail shopping is one of the top activities for international visitors to Louisiana,” said LTFS Executive Director Denise Thevenot.  “We’re excited to partner with Macy’s to give visitors another convenient way to enjoy the tax-free shopping program.” The Louisiana Tax Free Shopping Program, started in 1989, provides international visitors with an exemption from sales taxes for most retail purchases.  In order to be eligible for the program, a visitor must be travelling on a foreign passport with a current U.S. tourist visa and staying in the country for less than 90 days. Normal operating hours for the Baton Rouge refund center are 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., seven days a week. LTFS will hold a grand opening celebration for the Baton Rouge refund center on Tuesday, September 27: 10:00 a.m. Macy’s Mall of Louisiana 6401 Bluebonnet Boulevard Baton Rouge, LA 70836 For more information, call 504-471-2777 or visit www.louisianataxfree.com.

Principles To Guide The Next Decade for Travel in America

August 25, 2011 Latest News

The approaching tenth anniversary of 9/11 provides an opportunity to position our industry and help frame the coming retrospectives and look-ahead coverage in a way that is beneficial to travel.  I took the opportunity today to discuss with the media the impact that fateful day has had on our industry and to outline a series of forward-thinking principles developed by the U.S. Travel Association that will strengthen security and help eliminate barriers that are discouraging travel to and within the United States. With a focus on reducing traveler wait times, improving customer service, and replacing a one-size-fits-all approach with a risk-based approach, the principles strike a balance between security and travel facilitation.  We must continue keeping travelers safe with the highest level of security, but we must incorporate principles that improve facilitation and encourage travel while minimizing the burden on travelers. The Sobering Impact of 9/11 International travel has represented a lost opportunity for the U.S. economy and American jobs since 9/11. While global long-haul travel grew 40 percent from 2000 to 2010, overseas travel to the United States during this same timeframe rose just two percent. Despite more travelers worldwide, our slice of the pie shrunk, with U.S. market share of the global travel market dropping from 17 percent in 2000 to 12.4 percent in 2010. If America had simply kept pace with the growth in global long-haul international travel in the decade after 9/11, 78 million more travelers would have visited the United States, adding a total of $606 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting more than 467,000 additional U.S. jobs annually. The past decade has been difficult as well for business travel, with total volume declining 21 percent between 2000 and 2010. This was due to the immediate impact of 9/11 and by the meetings crisis in the late 2000s. Business travel returned to growth mode in 2010, increasing nearly 4 percent, and growth is expected through 2014, although at a much slower rate ranging from 1.2 percent to 1.7 percent annually. Leisure travel has been quite resilient in the decade since 9/11, with leisure travel volume increasing 17 percent since 2000, despite a few years of negative growth. This growth underscores the importance of travel to Americans. Slow but steady growth of about 2 percent annually is expected through 2014. The Way Forward With the domestic economy again appearing to decelerate, attracting more international visitors to the United States and improving the TSA security experience will play an important role in creating job opportunities for Americans. Implementing the principles set forth today by the U.S. Travel Association to reduce wait times, improve customer service and replace a one-size-fits-all approach will help make America more secure and competitive in the global marketplace. Thank you for your contributions during the past decade in helping our industry thrive during challenging times, and your commitment to helping it thrive in the decade ahead. Sincerely, Roger Dow President and CEO

2nd Amendment Weekend

August 23, 2011 Latest News

BATON ROUGE – Today, Governor Bobby Jindal urged hunters and campers to take advantage of the 2011 Louisiana Second Amendment Weekend Sales Tax Holiday that runs Friday, September 2 through Sunday, September 4. Governor Jindal said, “This is a great opportunity for all hunters and campers to save money on the equipment they need to enjoy Sportsman’s Paradise. The weekend-long event will also bring more customers to our local hunting and sporting stores which will further benefit our businesses and Louisiana’s economy.” A wide range of supplies is eligible for exemption from all state and local sales taxes.  Eligible items include:

  • Shotguns, rifles, pistols, revolvers or other handguns
  • Ammunition intended to be fired from a gun or firearm
  • Accessories designed to be used for hunting
  • Apparel such as safety gear, camouflage clothing, jackets, hats, gloves, mittens, face masks and thermal underwear for use while hunting
  • Off-road vehicles such as all-terrain vehicles designed for hunting.  The exemption does not apply to golf carts, bikes, motorcycles, tractors, or motor vehicles which may be legally driven on highways

In 2009, Governor Jindal signed a bill into law authorizing an annual “sales tax holiday” for the purchase of firearms, ammunition and hunting supplies Visit www.revenue.louisiana.gov/secondamendment for more information including the full list of eligible items and special provisions of this sales tax holiday.

Tour De Jefferson 2011

August 15, 2011 Latest News

Last year’s ride included 650 riders, great food, fabulous entertainment and a wonderful ride through 45 scenic miles of west Jefferson. The ride starts at Bayou Segnette, up the Mississippi River Trail, through the Jean Lafitte National Park and finally to the Town of Lafitte and back. Click Here for more Info and Pictures

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