Delta Initiative focuses on promoting region


BATON ROUGE, La. -- The Mississippi Delta Initiative, the state's latest cooperative project, is aimed at further bolstering the influx of visitors to Louisiana as well as six other states along the delta.

Its first conference has been scheduled for Oct. 18 to 20 in Memphis.

Participants are to include federal officials and state and local representatives from Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Illinois.

According to Barbara Roy, assistant secretary of the Louisiana Office of Tourism, the meeting will formulate the guidelines and specifics of the effort to promote the seven-state delta region, identify the product they are going to promote and make a formal announcement of the project by 2001.

"We are working on developing an infrastructure to make it [the delta area] a more viable part of our tourism package," Roy said.

She said Louisiana also is jumping on the niche market bandwagon.

She also said the state tourism department has been working with regional organizations to market the state domestically and internationally by attracting visitors to the region's Civil War trails and other cultural sites.

Roy said Louisiana has been working with the states of Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida in promoting niche markets in the region.

She gave as an example the Gulf Coast birding trail, which she said already is operating in some states.

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