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Iberia Travel is the Future of Travel

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National Travel and Tourism Week 2022 (May 1-7) spotlights the dynamic, innovative future of the U.S. travel industry. 


This National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), there is more reason than ever to celebrate the collective strength and promising future of the U.S. travel and tourism industry.

The 39th annual NTTW, taking place May 1-7, recognizes the Future of Travel and the critical role our industry will play in rebuilding the workforce, helping communities recover, fostering sustainability, ushering in new innovations and reconnecting travelers in the U.S. and around the world.

Antique cars parked in front of the Joseph Jefferson Mansion at Rip Van Winkle Gardens.
The event Cruisin Cajun Country Cruise In and the attraction Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens are two of Iberia Parish's many tourism assets.

Prior to the pandemic, in 2019, the travel industry was a powerful economic engine, supporting jobs and driving local economies in every pocket of America. Travel generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S. 

In 2020, visitors spent $43.74 million in Iberia Parish, generating $3.31 million in state tax revenue and $1.68 million in local tax revenue (Source: Spending in Louisiana Parishes Report by the University of New Orleans Hospitality Research Center, May 2021).

So far this year, with the return of in person events, Iberia Parish's occupancy tax collections are up 28 percent, the highest increase since COVID-19 began.

Cane River Pecan Company employees pose with an assortment of gifts at the New Iberia gift shop.
Cane River Pecan Company's Retail Duo Danielle Jones and Carley Landry Web

While the industry was hit hard by the challenges of the past two years, we are recovering and positioning our industry for a return to growth. There is great optimism among American travelers to get back on the road and see our great country. 

We have overcome many obstacles, and the future is bright.

That’s why here in Iberia Parish and across America, we are using NTTW to recognize the contributions of the U.S. travel industry and how we will grow a more dynamic, innovative, sustainable and inclusive future. While the pandemic was a setback, it’s also an opportunity to reimagine the industry to be greater than ever before

Mickey and Tiffany Bellott in front of their Bayou Chateau B&B in New Iberia.
Tiffany and Mickey Bellott, owners of  B&Bs Bayou Chateau and Chateau Royale

The Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau (Iberia Travel) is celebrating travel’s promising future by highlighting Iberia's Faces of Travel, our area's travel and hospitality business owners, employees and volunteers, on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

"With the pandemic wearing off, we’re adjusting to new travel habits for people, and destinations everywhere are learning what the future of tourism will look like," said Fran Thibodeaux, IPCVB's executive director. "Iberia Parish is fortunate that throughout the pandemic new tourism assets have flourished. It’s definitely a new day for the industry which we need to seize and commit to a plan that makes even more tourism development a priority."

Current tourism developments include Mayor Freddie Decourt's masterplan and new business ventures in downtown New Iberia, an upcoming Acadian Odyssey Monument in Loreauville and the expansion of the Delcambre Direct Seafood program.

World Championship Gumbo Cookoff volunteers arrive at Bouligny Plaza in New Iberia.
World Championship Gumbo Cookoff Volunteers Danielle Dugas, Annie Bell and Arron Leleux

IPCVB worked with St. Martin and St. Mary parish tourism bureaus to obtain a national designation by the Federal Highway Administration for the Bayou Teche National Scenic Byway. The bureau also strives to help Iberia Parish bounce back stronger by promoting the destination through marketing programs and working with journalists to maintain a strong media presence, with recent mentions on CNN, Fox News, Southern Living, The Reader's Digest, Travel + Leisure, and Eat This Not That.

From the New Iberia Historic District to Avery Island, Iberia Parish’s travel and tourism industry contributes so much to our local economy and the spirit of our community. From all of us at IPCVB we are excited for all of the promising things ahead for Iberia Parish and the U.S. travel industry.  

To meet more Iberia Faces of Tourism, visit our Facebook and Instagram.