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Out Now Global, an Australian research firm, predicted enormous growth in LGBT travel to the United States as a result of the recent landmark Supreme Court decision that established gay marriage as a fully legal right in the U.S. The firm predicts LGBT tourism will likely increase by 9 percent over the next three years, creating an influx of 1.3 LGBT tourists spending more than $4.25 billion over that same period. Seven key LGBT markets were surveyed including Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and the UK. Each country showed an increase of LGBT visitors of between 9 and 11 percent. Brazil showed the largest projected increase with 465,000 visitors.
The Metro Expo Line extension (Phase 2) from Culver City to Santa Monica is nearly 90 percent complete and is on pace to open by spring 2016. The extension, a 6.6-mile corridor, will connect Downtown L.A. to the beach in an estimated 46 minutes. The project is expected to carry up to 64,000 people by 2030 with the addition of Santa Monica to the existing line.
Air China recently launched the airline’s third daily nonstop service from Beijing to Los Angeles. With the launch, Air China also began operations at LAX’s new Tom Bradley International Terminal. Air China is the only airline with nonstop service between the two cities.
The experience at LAX's Terminal 5 now reflects the style of L.A. and its travelers as Delta Air Lines unveiled the completion of a three-year terminal wide refurbishment, including the airline’s first private check-in lounge, Delta ONE. The $229-million project included enhancements such as new jet bridges; a renovated Sky Priority lobby; an expanded ticketing lobby and four additional security screening checkpoints; and new baggage carousels and international baggage recheck facilities.
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L.A. TOURISM VISITS BRAZIL
Stephanie Nakasone, a representative from International Tourism, was in Brazil earlier this month with L.A. Tourism’s in-market representative for sales calls to host a juice truck event Los Angeles-style at CVC, Brazil’s largest tour operator. The juice menu featured a choice of fruit drinks named after L.A. neighborhoods such as DTLA, Hollywood, LAX, Santa Monica, Venice Beach and more. CVC’s product team wore Los Angeles branded t-shirts and served 400 staff members and two local journalists their favorite juice during a mid-morning break. In addition, Stephanie attended airline meetings with LAWA promoting new air service from Brazil and Colombia.
L.A. TOURISM VISITS AIR TAHITI NUI
Representatives from L.A. Tourism’s France office Murielle Nouchy & Sihame Haddane met with Air Tahiti Nui to conduct a series of training sessions with 20 travel agents each month from November to February. The sessions featured product presentations, LAX updates, news on L.A.’s offerings and a sponsored lunch for attendees at Air Tahiti Nui headquarters. Additional training sessions are scheduled for April 14 and May 19.
A NIGHT AT THE MOVIES WITH L.A. TOURISM
L.A. Tourism's European office hosted a private film screening of the Academy Award winning film “The Theory of Everything” for a group of 55 Travel Agents from leading operator Trailfinders. Before the screening, audience members were presented with a presentation on what’s new in Los Angeles, highlighting hotel product, L.A Tourism and our partners. Los Angeles Tourism partnered with Santa Monica and Universal Studios HollywoodSM who provided the venue for the evening in their luxury private screening room at their London office.
LATCB at Visit USA Committee Workshops
Representative from LATCB’s France office Murielle Nouchy participated in a series of Visit USA Committee workshops in Toulouse, Lyon and Paris. She met with more than 330 travel agents and gave L.A. product presentations, updated news on LAX and TBIT and L.A.’s product offerings for their clients with the objective to increase bookings to LAX. Nouchy also attended a press lunch organized for the event in Paris and met with 20 journalists from top French magazines to increase destination awareness and future press trips to L.A.
LATCB EXHIBITS AT VISIT USA AUSTRALIA (VUSA) ASSOCIATION 2015 SALES MISSION
LATCB’s Australian office partnered with Starline Tours of Hollywood for the Visit USA Australia Association 2015 Sales Mission February 16-20. This week long annual travel trade event consisted of 3 travel agent expos, a B2B session with 30 leading tour operators and wholesale product managers and a media event. The mission provided LATCB the opportunity to promote key messages including LAX Airport’s improvements, new hotel developments, Metro expansions and other updates from LATCB member products. More than 1,000 leisure travel agents from major Australian travel agency brands attended training seminars in Sydney, Melbourne & Brisbane.
“Retail travel agency stores are still the leading point of sale when Australians comes to book an international vacation, with more than 37% of vacation bookings still being made via brick and mortar retail travel agency stores in Australia,” said Craig Gibbons, LATCB regional director Australia & New Zealand.
LATCB thanks InterContinental Century City, Hotel Erwin Venice Beach, Hotel Figueroa, GO Los Angeles Card & Starline Tours for their generous support of this project.
For more information on partnering with LATCB on travel trade events in Australia please email [email protected]
LATCB ATTENDS ASIA-PACIFIC INCENTIVES & MEETINGS EXPO (AIME) IN MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
LATCB Australia exhibited at AIME as part of the Brand USA delegation; AIME is the largest international business event in Australia with more than 700 exhibitors from five continents which attracts more than 3,000 meeting & incentive travel buyers from Australia, New Zealand, China and Southeast Asia. Marriott Southwest Region Sales Director Susan Weander joined LATCB at the two-day show February 24-25 and represented J.W Marriot L.A LIVE, Courtyard & Residence Inn L.A. LIVE and the Marriott Marina del Rey.
“AIME is our key MICE promotional event in the Australia and New Zealand markets and with this being our third year participating, it really allows for LATCB to gain momentum and exposure in the lucrative outbound MICE market from the Asia-Pac region,” said Craig Gibbons, LATCB regional director Australia & New Zealand.
LATCB’s focus for AIME was to update MICE planners on new hotel developments and refurbishments, LAX Airport’s improvements and unique offsite event venues and activities in an effort to generate leads for LATCB members.
For more information on partnering with LATCB on MICE events in Australia please email [email protected]
LATCB HOSTS L.A. TACO TUESDAY WITH QANTAS HOLIDAYS
L.A. Tourism partnered with Universal Studios HollywoodSM and Starline Tours of Hollywood to host a taco-themed luncheon and training seminar for 50 wholesale travel agents from leading Australian wholesaler Qantas Holidays (Helloworld) February 17 in Melbourne, Australia.
The travel agents received the latest information on Los Angeles and LAX Airport, training on increasing the value of their L.A. holidays packages and product updates from Universal Studios HollywoodSM and Starline Tours. A Q&A session with prizes followed where a top agent won an L.A holiday package prize courtesy of L.A. Tourism members: Hotel Erwin Venice Beach, Starline Tours, Universal Studios HollywoodSM and GO Los Angeles Card. Qantas Holidays is one of the top three wholesalers for U.S. travel packages in Australia and is owned by Helloworld, the number two retail travel company in Australia.
For more information on partnering with L.A. Tourism on travel trade training in Australia please email [email protected]
LATCB at RTO Summit West
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board recently partnered with North American Journeys on RTO Summit West, February 25-26, 2015 at the Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey, CA. The RTO (Receptive Tour Operator) Summit West and Symposium, now in its 12th year, provided the latest industry trends, business insights and panel discussions with leading receptive operators. At this year’s 2015 RTO Summit West, there was a record number of attendees - 92 operators from 56 companies. As one of the sponsors for the symposium on February 25th, Los Angeles Tourism had the opportunity to present an LA product update RTO Summit attendees during lunch. In addition, Sheena Yu also participated in the China Market Panel discussion, providing insights on the market and trends. On February 26th, LATCB met with 22 scheduled one-on-one buyer appointments providing LA updates, highlighting new developments, itinerary suggestions and key points of discussion included: LAXisHappening message, new hotels, attractions and notable events.
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- Los Angeles ranked 5th place among the Top 25 Markets with a Occupancy rate of 71.6%, down -2.7% over the same period last year (73.6%).
- Markets ranking higher are Miami (82.9%), Oahu Island (81.2%), Orlando (76.1%), and San Francisco (73.2%).
- Contributing factors for the decline in YOY occupancy were:
- The shift of the Grammy Awards from January 2014 to February 2015.
- The 2014 BCS National Championship Football Game, held at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, did not occur in 2015.
- Adverse East Coast and Midwest weather hampering air travel.
- Los Angeles ADR was $148.95 and ranked 6th among the Top 25 Markets, up +1.3% compared to the same period last year ($146.98).
- Los Angeles RevPAR was $106.62 and ranked 6th among the Top 25 Markets, down -1.4% compared to the same period last year ($108.11).
- Rooms nights sold were 2.18 million countywide, reflecting a -1.3% decrease over January 2014 (2.20 million room nights).
- The LAX area (78.6%) and Beverly Hills/Westside L.A. (76.0%) both reported the highest Occupancy rate for the month.
- Long Beach (+9.4%) and South Bay (+6.3%) reported the largest YOY RevPAR growth.