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Shreveport Convention and Tourist Bureau Rebrands as Visit Shreveport-Bossier

Officials gathered at the Shreveport Convention Center, May 25 as the Shreveport Convention and Tourist Bureau announced their rebranding as Visit Shreveport-Bossier and unveiled their 10-year Destination Master Plan

“Back in 2019, we had the results presented to us of something called Destination Next. It was a study that’s been done around the country, that kind of showcases what the local people think, what the visitors think, where do we stand as a community and what are our next steps that we need to take. And that really revealed that we needed to do a destination master plan and a new brand,” said Stacy Brown, president and CEO of Visit Shreveport-Bossier. Together with the Shreveport, Bossier and African American Chambers of Commerce, Visit Shreveport- Bossier chose MMGY Global and MMGY NextFactor to guide the Destination Master Plan and regional brand efforts. A steering committee made up of community stakeholders was formed to advise the consultants.

“$819 million dollars. That’s how much visitors brought into Shreveport-Bossier last year. We had 15 different focus groups with all different segments of the community. We did 50–60 plus interviews with individuals to really identify all the politics, the power structures, the personalities in this community, because that’s what you have to understand to make anything work. You can come up with strategies all day long, but it’s the people and how well they work together, or don’t that will define the success of a plan like this,” said Greg Oates, Senior Vice President of Innovation at MMGY NextFactor.

“We are doing this as a community. We’ve got to have the chambers, we’ve got to have economic development, we’ve got to have city and parish leaders from both sides of the river, as well as the community of other leaders to be involved in this process – all the citizens,” said Stacy Brown, president and CEO of Visit Shreveport-Bossier.

Among community leaders, Mayor Tom Arceneaux and his staff are also a part of the planning process. “He [Mayor Arceneaux] and his staff are a major part of moving this project forward. He also understands that it’s not even about just the city of Shreveport. It’s also the city of Bossier, Bossier Parish and Caddo Parish, all of us working together to improve the community as a whole,” said Brown.

“I think it [Destination Master Plan] does two things, one it brings in visitors that help our tax base on the very front end, but it also makes sure that when people come here, they enjoy visiting here and they think, ‘Gee is this a place that I might like to live? Is this a place I might like to have my business?’ And when we are positive about our community, and we have positive things for people to experience, then that’s going to cause them to want to live here,” said Shreveport Mayor Tom Arceneaux.

The Shreveport-Bossier Destination Master Plan strategic framework focuses on six things:

1. Increase and diversify community collaboration.
2. Accelerate mixed-use development, placemaking and mobility in the two urban waterfronts. 
3. Prioritize support for local creative entrepreneurs in art, culture, film, food, music, retail and more.
4. Capitalize on surging demand for sports tourism.
5. Increase visitor volumes in the meetings and conventions sector.
6. Accelerate business development in outdoor recreation and upgrade event venue.

Kiara LaFitte was born and raised in Shreveport, Louisiana. She is currently a resident in Keithville, Louisiana. Kiara is an alumni of Caddo Parish Magnet High School, graduating in 2017. She is also an alumni of Northwestern State University, graduating in 2021 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication, concentrating on Broadcast and Digital Media Production, with a minor in Music Business. In her spare time, Kiara is a nature photographer and music producer. She is an avid jazz listener as well. Her favorite artists include: Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Nat King Cole, and Brandee Younger just to name a few. She is an eccentric book reader and podcast listener. She is also the host of Classic Jazz! playing music she loves every Monday night from 9 PM - Midnight.