Tourism in Vermilion Parish
Over the past year, tourism in Vermilion Parish has seen a slight turn in the right direction due to an increase in advertising and a concerted effort to market our parish more effectively to potential visitors. The Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission (VPTC) recently met to discuss what had been accomplished during the past year and what marketing areas should be focused on in the upcoming year.
According to official tourism figures, the Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission had a total of 3,331 inquiries from July 2007 to July 2008. When compared to the same time period in 2006-2007, tourism figures are up 37 percent. These figures represent 980 visitors coming to the Visitor Center, 413 call-ins, 1,344 requests from the web site and 594 requests from either the mail or e-mail. Mail requests include 527 magazine ad requests from some of the ads that the Tourist Commission placed in regional and national publications. Walk-in visitors include people from all over the United States, Russia, Canada, France and Australia.
Tourism in Vermilion Parish received a boost when the Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission received a $50,000 Tourism Recovery Grant to market our parish. Through this grant, VPTC was able to place ads in the following publications: Bon Temps, the Official Tourism Guide for Lafayette; Discover Iberia, Iberia Parish’s Official Tourism Guide; The Daily Advertiser’s Vermilion Pages; Compass Marketing City Regional Magazine Insert; Southern Living; Birder’s World; Louisiana Cookin’; Louisiana/Mississippi Sportsman; Travel 50 & Beyond; Y’all magazine; Louisiana Associated Press Newspapers; Louisiana Life’s Travel Guide; Southeast Educational Network magazine; “A Cajun & Creole Christmas” brochure. VPTC also offered a cooperative advertising package to area tourism-related businesses and placed ads in the following publications: 2008 Louisiana Tour Guide; 2008 Lafayette Travel Planner Guide and the fall issue of Louisiana Life magazine.
In December 2007, the Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission launched their new website, www.MostCajun.com. Since being launched, the website has received over 554,000 hits with nearly 17,000 of those hits being unique visitors (people actually typing in the web address). The Vermilion Parish Visitor’s Guide has been downloaded a total of 2,104 times from the website. Other marketing efforts done by VPTC include the production of the first ever Vermilion Parish Visitor’s Guide, which features listings of parish-wide tourism-related businesses, Points of Interest maps and Calendar of Events. These publications are available at the Visitor Center and are mailed to potential tourists. The Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission also attended nine tradeshows and conferences to inform the public, as well as meeting planners and tour organizers, of what Vermilion Parish has to offer.
Some of the marketing efforts that the Tourist Commission will continue to work on include the Vermilion Parish Culinary Trail and the development of group tour packages to “sell” to tour companies to try to attract large and small groups to visit our parish. VPTC will continue to advertise in publications that reach our drive markets (Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Georgia) and also offer a cooperative advertising package to area tourism-related businesses.
For a copy of the 2007-2008 Vermilion Parish Progress Report or the 2008-2009 Vermilion Parish Marketing Plan, contact the Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission. The Vermilion Parish Tourist Commission office is located at 1905 Veterans Memorial Drive in Abbeville. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. For tourist information on Vermilion Parish, call 337-898-6600 or visit www.MostCajun.com.