The National Travel Association’s Familiarization Tour through Minden has paid off.
Daphne Pollock, product development and office manager of WestWorld Tours in Canada, has said the company will be booking a trip through Minden in January 2016 as a touring destination.
“Our groups are seniors, and I think they would absolutely love it,” she wrote in an email to Webster Parish tourism executive director Lynn Dorsey. “We had so much fun in Minden. Will you be doing the Mardis Gras party for groups? If you are, this is something we would like to do for our group.”
Dorsey says she hoped to have them during the Mardi Gras parade in 2016, but because of scheduling conflicts, it couldn’t be worked out.
However, they are already planning a Mardi Gras party just for them and will have trinkets and souvenirs for tourists to take home with them.
“We would absolutely love to do a Mardi Gras party for them,” she said. “I’ve already invested in Mardi Gras decorations and specialty beads in preparation for them to come.”
When WestWorld Tours comes to Minden, the three Mardi Gras krewes have been invited to participate in the party – the Krewes des Ambassadeurs and Akewa (an all women’s krewe) in Minden and the Krewe of Artemis in Springhill.
Dorsey says WestWorld Tours asked to make Second Hand Rose Antiques a stop during their tour as well.
“She’s a hit,” Dorsey said of owner Millie Rose. “She’s so unique and they love to go in there.”
The ultimate goal of having this tour come through Minden is to get them to spend money here. She says when they rent venues such as the Courtyard or Orleans on Main that brings in revenue – plus what they would spend in restaurants here.
“My goal, if this is successful for us – which I believe it will be – is something that we as a tourism office can start marketing,” Dorsey said.
“Shreveport’s been doing it for a while, and it’s a packaged deal. That’s the kind of thing we can develop in the future.”