Cody Gray, Tourism Director for Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou,
Assumes Two New Leadership Roles in State Tourism Industry
Raceland, Louisiana (January 6, 2022) – Cody Gray, President and CEO of Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou Tourism, Lafourche Parish’s destination marketing organization, has been appointed to the board of directors for both the Louisiana Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (LACVB) and the Louisiana Travel Association (LTA). These are separate organizations, separate roles and separate appointments, but the fact that Gray’s terms will begin at roughly the same time – this month with the LACVB and in February for the LTA – is testament to the fact that Lafourche Parish’s tourism director is making his mark on the state’s tourism industry … and shining a bright spotlight on Louisiana’s Cajun Bayou in the process.
On January 1, Gray began his one-year term as Secretary of the LACVB, which is comprised of tourism offices from all over the state. He’ll then rotate through the various board positions for the next few years before becoming the group’s chair. Meetings take place throughout the year and all over the state, meaning that Gray will be able to assess the role of tourism in other parishes across Louisiana and learn best practices while educating his peers about the economic impact tourism has on Lafourche Parish.
“LACVB is grateful for Cody’s appointment to serve on the board as Secretary and his commitment to the organization in a leadership role as we provide our members across the state with education, networking and tourism marketing opportunities,” said Arlene Gould, executive director of the Natchitoches CVB and the 2021 LACVB chair.
When he attends the LTA’s annual meeting next month in Alexandria, Gray will begin his service on that group’s board. LTA is an organization focused on strengthening the state’s tourism industry through promotion, education and advocacy. Among its biggest initiatives is hosting the state’s annual travel summit in August, when the entire tourism industry gathers to get a status check on the state’s tourism initiatives, network, and learn from tourism leaders throughout the state, region and nation.
“I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to serve alongside so many great leaders in the Louisiana tourism industry,” Gray said. “It is a privilege to represent Lafourche Parish and our unapologetically Cajun destination on these state boards while continuing to advocate for, promote, and support our partners and our parish.”
Gray joined Lafourche Parish’s tourism office as its Director of Sales and Marketing in April 2020, relocating from his home state of Florida just as COVID-19 had forced the global tourism industry to shut down. His efforts on behalf of the parish and its growing tourism industry were acknowledged when he was promoted to the position of President and CEO just eight months later. In the brief time that he’s been a part of the Lafourche community, Gray has helped parish leaders and its tourism industry – especially its restaurants and festivals – cope with and recover from the financial hardships brought about by the pandemic’s impact. For the past four months, he has been focused on helping tourism partners up and down the bayou recover from Hurricane Ida while also overseeing the rebuilding of the parish’s visitor center, which was destroyed by the hurricane.
Last year Gray was among the inaugural class of Emerging Tourism Stars, a select group of tourism leaders who were recognized by a brand-new annual program designed to honor top professionals in the field of destination marketing.
Prior to moving to Louisiana, Gray worked in Florida’s travel industry for nearly seven years, first for the Columbia County Tourist Development Council and then as the Director of Sales and Marketing for Tru by Hilton & Lake City Hotels, Inc. Gray received his TMP (Travel Marketing Professional) certification via the Southeast Tourism Society’s Marketing College in 2018.