McIlhenny Co. Wins Louisiana Travel Promotion Association's Attraction Of The Year Louey Award

NATCHITOCHES, LA – The Louisiana Travel Promotion Association (LTPA) introduced McIlhenny Company, the maker of  TABASCO® brand Pepper Sauce, as the winner of the Attraction of the Year Award during its Annual Membership Meeting on Jan. 26, in Natchitoches, Louisiana. This year, LTPA presented 17 "Louey Awards" to honor and showcase individuals and organizations who have made outstanding contributions to the Louisiana tourism industry.

         Avery Island welcomes more than 100,000 tourists each year, who come to see its TABASCO® factory, Jungle Gardens and the Bird City wildfowl refuge. In February 2016, McIlhenny Company completed a $5.5-million expansion of the factory tour centered around a new museum which houses valuable objects from the nearly 150-year history of TABASCO® Sauce. This new tour covers several acres near the current factory and includes eight separate displays or viewing areas – from the Barrel Warehouse, to Blending to the Factory Floor.

         This new tour experience is complemented by the TABASCO® Country Store, where visitors can shop for TABASCO® branded merchandise, and a new cafeteria-style restaurant, 1868, which offers TABASCO® infused Cajun favorites and cooking workshops. Visitors can also embark on the TABASCO® Food Tour, where they sample Cajun Country's cuisine and culture at several local establishments.

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         McIlhenny recently added guided factory and birding tours to the experience. The company is currently developing material in French for the factory tour, including a guided tour and a mobile app. Within the last two years alone, Avery Island has been accredited in prestigious media outlets such as National Geographic, Bon Appétit, USA Today, CNN, Delta Sky and Trip Advisor.

         "The Louey Awards are a great way to acknowledge our state's wonderful tourism assets and those people that make each asset so special," Fran Thibodeaux, executive director of the Iberia Parish Convention and Visitors Bureau, said. "I'm very thankful that McIlhenny was selected Attraction of the Year. We look forward to continuing to help showcase this great Louisiana attraction to the rest of the world."

         The LTPA Louey Award winners also include: Natchitoches Convention & Visitors Bureau, Outstanding Convention and Visitors Bureau/Tourist Commission of the Year (budget up to $499,999); Sabine Parish Tourist Commission, Outstanding Convention and Bureau/Tourist Commission of the Year (budget from $500,000 to $999,999); Visit Baton Rouge, Outstanding Convention and Bureau/Tourist Commission of the Year (budget of $1 million and higher); Alexandria-Pineville CVB – Eat Here Cenla, Tourism Campaign/Promotion of the Year; City of Alexandria's Alex Winter Fete, Festival/Event of the Year; DoubleTree by Hilton Lafayette, Accommodation of the Year/Full-Service Lodging; Comfort Suites Natchitoches, Accommodation of the Year/Limited-Service Lodging; A Chateau on the Bayou, Accommodation of the Year/Bed & Breakfast; Charlie Goodson of Southern Hospitality Kitchens in Lafayette, Restaurateur of the Year; Lakeview Lodge in Ferriday, Campground RV/Park of the Year; Senator Eric LaFleur, Governmental Friend of Tourism; Representative Helena Moreno, Governmental Friend of Tourism; Jonathan "JT" Taylor with the Livingston Parish CVB, Rising Star; Michael Valentino with Valentino Properties, Will Mangham Tourism Lifetime Achievement.

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         LTPA is a trade association leading and strengthening Louisiana's vibrant tourism industry through promotion, education and advocacy on behalf of our members. Tourism generated $11.5 billion for Louisiana in 2015 and employs more than 226,000 people throughout the state.

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