The Shreveport-Bossier Convention and Tourist Bureau is encouraging locals to "think like a tourist" and get out to visit some of our area's attractions.

During National Travel and Tourism Week May 1-7, nearly 20 discounts are being offered as part of the 'Be a Fan of Shreveport-Bossier' campaign. Chris Jay with the tourist bureau says you can learn more about it on the website

"I stress that website, because we're giving away a bunch of free stuff on that website, and we also have a bunch of discounts to incredible local attractions," Jay said. "Buy one, get one free bowling at Holiday Lanes, or 50% off of flyboarding out on Cypress Black Bayou, or you name it."

Jay said the whole point is to get locals to go out and discover some attractions they haven't been to yet, and to enjoy all our area has to offer. He said the same people who are saying there's nothing to do in Shreveport-Bossier have never been to some of the popular places like the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum, Sci-Port or the Marlene Yu Museum, which is new in Shreveport.

"We're taking this opportunity to say...please, go out there. Now's the time. Get out there and see your community," Jay said. "Don't just kind of talk about or keep it on the back burner, there's a lot of great stuff happening."

The Marlene Yu Museum usually charged $10 for adult adimssion, but through the special discount program, admission is free if you download the deals through the Be a Fan website.

Another attraction Jay recommends is the Gardens at the American Rose Center. He said the roses are in full bloom now, so it's a great time to go. And he said craft beer has exploded in our area, so -- if you're of age -- you might stop by Great Raft, Flying Heart or Red River Brewing and sample their selections. Of course, we can't forget about the Louisiana Boardwalk. Jay said that's a regional destination for people from all over.

A big news conference will be held at 10 a.m. Monday, May 2, at Sci-Port. The mayors of Shreveport and Bossier City are expected to be there. It's designed to give people a better understanding about the economic power of the tourism and hospitality industry.

"We're talking about thousands of jobs, we're talking about millions and millions of dollars, and huge tax receipts for our community," said Jay. "That's money that locals don't have to pay in taxes because they're being left behind by visitors."