Thursday, March 2, 2023

Contact: Erica Sweeney Glory, St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission
(225) 329-8684


Honor bestowed by the North American Travel Journalists Association


MANDEVILLE, LA -- On February 28, The North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA) announced that Explore the Northshore, Issue 10 (Fall/Winter 22), produced by the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission and published by Southern Luxury Publishing, won GOLD in the 31st Annual North American Travel Journalists Awards Competition in the BEST VISITORS’ GUIDE category. This awards competition honors the best of the best in travel journalism, photography and destination marketing that cover all aspects of the travel industry.  

This is the first Gold win for the St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission after taking home the Bronze award in 2020 for Explore the Northshore, Issue 4.

The 2022 NATJA Awards received thousands of entries from the US, Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.  Awards were made to publications, travel journalists and photographers, and top destination marketing organizations. The St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission was in good company. Winning entries from major publications included Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Bloomberg Pursuits, and National Geographic Travel. Second and third place in the BEST VISITORS’ GUIDE category went to the state of Arkansas and the Huntsville/Madison County Convention & Visitors Bureau, respectively.

The St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission produces the 40-page inspiration piece twice a year to encourage travel to St. Tammany Parish, and 50,000 copies are distributed in attractions, hotels, restaurants, visitor centers, and to potential travelers who inquire about the Northshore. 

“We are delighted to receive this esteemed award that validates all the hard work and dedication of the team at the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission. I joined the staff just two months before this issue’s press date, so we immediately set out to become a well-oiled machine capable of great things,” said Katie Guasco, Chief Marketing Officer of the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission. “Thank you to Donna O’Daniels, Roberta Carrow Jackson, Erica Glory, Sarah Hill, Rae Shipley, our writers, photographers and production team at Southern Luxury Publishing for their commitment to delivering exceptional content for the Northshore.”   

Said Southern Luxury Publishing’s President and Group Publisher, Adam Pitluk, PhD, "Like a lot of travelers, I first became familiar with St. Tammany Parish on a day trip from a conference I was attending in New Orleans. I thought that the Parish was so unique, so singular in how it presented itself that I remarked to my wife that I'd like to take a trip to St. Tammany independent of a trip to New Orleans. I thought there was more going on in the Parish than I could experience in a day, but I didn’t know for sure. That was a decade ago.

“The St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission, under CEO Donna O'Daniels stewardship, has forwarded that message of the Parish as a singular destination for business conferences, corporate retreats, romantic getaways and family reunions, and they did so in part with the launching and continued improvement of Explore the Northshore magazine. The North American Travel Journalist Association (NATJA) -- one of the oldest and most prestigious award-sanctioning bodies in journalism -- had bestowed the Gold medal 30 times in 30 years to the best visitor's guide in the nation. Explore Editor-in-Chief (and Chief Marketing Officer) Katie Guasco not only forwarded the established editorial mission, but she made the appropriate moves to evolve the print product to the highest level. As a result, Explore was NATJA’s 31st Gold medal recipient.

“This award is a testament to the vision of CEO O’Daniels and Editor Guasco, and of the hard work from the entire team of writers and editors, as well as the photography skills of Kevin Garrett and design skills of David Halloran. This award signals to the rest of the country what’s been known on the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain for over a decade: St. Tammany Parish has it going on, and in a major way.”

For more information about NATJA or a complete list of award winners and honorable mentions, visit  To receive a copy of the award-winning Explore the Northshore Visitor Guide, visit



About North American Travel Journalists Association (NATJA)
Founded in 1991, NATJA is a travel journalism industry leader that fosters high quality journalism by supporting the professional development of its members, providing exceptional program benefits and valuable resources, honoring the excellence of journalism throughout the world, and promoting travel and leisure to the general public. NATJA also publishes TravelWorld International Magazine (


About the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission (STPTCC)
The St. Tammany Parish Tourist Commission is a public, quasi-governmental agency created in 1976 by Louisiana Legislature. The STPTCC is responsible for promoting the community as an attractive travel destination and enhancing its public image as a dynamic place to live and work. Through the impact of travel, the STPTCC strengthens the economic position of St. Tammany Parish and provides opportunity and jobs for the community.  Tourism employed more than 11,490 St. Tammany residents in 2018, and tourism revenue saved each St. Tammany Parish household $1,082 in taxes.  St. Tammany Parish is the fourth-largest tourist economy in the State of Louisiana, with visitors spending over $804 million in St. Tammany Parish in 2018 (University of New Orleans study).


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