Leading into summer, LA Tourism makes major inroads in an already strong position in the China travel market; bringing LA’s attractions to the world at International Pow Wow and bringing the LGBT travel convention to Los Angeles; getting ready for dineLA Summer Restaurant Week; LA Tourism gaining significant media coverage for the destination and our members and partners; and lots of updates on industry news.
LA Tourism President & CEO Ernest Wooden, Jr. took part in a historic meeting May 28 with China President Xi Jinping and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. This meeting put the importance of further growing tourism opportunities between the U.S. and China center stage, with Los Angeles in the spotlight as the leading U.S. destination for Chinese visitors. President Xi shared that he felt tourism was crucial to the future of his country, and to developing bilateral friendships around the world. He said that tourism has been central to the growth of U.S.-China relations.
President Xi said he believed the rapidly growing numbers of Chinese people that are traveling could soon reach 200 million per year. He also reinforced the importance of Los Angeles as the primary Asian gateway to the U.S., referring to LA as the “epicenter” of the U.S. – China relationship. LA and China began building a strong relationship of friendship and collaboration in trade and tourism in 2006 when Mayor Villaraigosa and LA Tourism opened the first-ever licensed destination travel and tourism office for an American city in China (Beijing). And, as part of this week’s activity, we opened a second LA Tourism office in this crucial international market, this time in Shanghai.
LA Tourism teamed up with US Airways magazine and LA’s cultural community to generate a spectacular co-op editorial feature promoting the world-class cultural offerings in Los Angeles. More than 100 arts & culture organizations participated in the project, which shattered all previous records for arts coverage in US Airways, with 115 pages of uninterrupted feature coverage exclusively on the arts in Los Angeles. US Airways magazine dedicated the cover of the magazine to the LA arts feature, which they have never done for this time of article.
The in-flight magazine will be on board all US Airways flights during the month of June 2013, reaching as many as 6 million monthly passengers. In addition, an electronic version of the full feature will live on the US Airways magazine website for one year at www.usairwaysmag.com. LA Tourism will reprint the LA feature only, with a customized LA-centric cover, to use as the official Los Angeles cultural guide for both consumers and the travel trade for the next few years. US Airways is the #1 carrier in the eastern U.S., and the #4 carrier nationwide, bringing some 350,000 monthly passengers into and out of Los Angeles, with 77 daily flights.
Los Angeles was featured as a Memorial Day weekend destination in broadcast news segments across the country as a result of working with Orbitz on a Satellite Media Tour. CBS, NBC and Fox affiliates in Denver, Tucson, Sacramento, San Antonio, Austin, Washington, D.C. and other top markets featured LA as a top travel pick. Nationally, Fox News and CNN included the destination.
LA FEATURED ON NBC’S TODAY IN LA SHOW
NBC’s morning TV show “Today in LA” aired a segment on May 24 in which LA Tourism shared great Memorial Day Weekend stay-cation ideas, featuring several members.
LA Tourism is participating in the June 20 media preview of the new and highly anticipated Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. The event will include a Press Conference, Q&A, and a sneak peek into the $1.7 billion facility that will have nine state-of-the-art boarding gates, five of which will accommodate the new-generation aircraft. Once all phases are complete, the new TBIT will all have a variety of new amenities within its new great hall including a play area, lounges, exclusive high-end shops (Hermes, Gucci), locally-based retailers (Kitson, Fred Segal) and well-known, high quality LA restaurants (Border Grill, Umami, LAMILL). This project is considered to be one of the largest public works initiatives in the history of the City of Los Angeles, and it will make LA even more welcoming to international travelers.
LA Tourism successfully bid for Los Angeles to be the host city of the 2015 International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association's (IGLTA) annual Global Convention. This is the first time in IGLTA’s more than 30 years of operation that their Global Convention will be held in the City of Los Angeles and nearly two decades since it was hosted by West Hollywood in 1993.
The convention will bring to LA nearly 600 international gay & lesbian travel professionals and some 30 LGBT media outlets. In the U.S. alone, gay and lesbian travelers spend more than $70 billion each year. Approximately 3.5% of visitors to LA, or 1.2 million people, self-identify as gay or lesbian. Community Marketing Insights (CMI), the nation's leading research firm on LGBT travel, reports a ROI of 153:1 for companies directly marketing to the LGBT community.
LA Tourism will travel to Madrid, the host city for 2014, to promote Los Angeles and the 2015 Global Convention here. LA Tourism members interested in this market are invited to join LA Tourism in a self-funded delegation to the Madrid convention. As the host city in 2015, LA will also host the closing reception in Madrid, providing LA-centric food, entertainment and promotional collateral. For more information, please contact Mike McDowell, Senior Director of Arts & Culture and Affinity Markets at [email protected].
LA Tourism will represent the destinations, hotels, attractions and venues that make Los Angeles unique in the world at the U.S. Travel Association’s International Pow Wow, coming up June 8-12, 2013 in Las Vegas. During the event, LA Tourism will hold a press conference to make some important announcements about tourism and hospitality in LA on Tuesday, June 11. LA Tourism will have a large presence with several member hotels and attractions joining in the booth, and will also be participating in the Media Marketplace to promote the LA destination and LA Tourism members.
The show fills three days of intensive pre-scheduled business appointments, bringing together more than 1,000 U.S. travel organizations from across the country, representing all industry categories. Nearly 1,200 international and domestic buyers from more than 70 countries will meet under one roof to negotiate more than $3.5 billion in future travel to the United States. To learn more, visit www.ustravel.org/events/international-pow-wow
LA Tourism had a strong presence at the American Society of Association Executives’ (ASAE) annual citywide meeting and trade show Springtime Expo, May 15-17 in Washington, D.C. Over 1,800 association meeting professionals and executives attended, and 10% came to the LA Tourism booth to meet our team. Participants with LA Tourism included Universal Studios Hollywood, L.A. LIVE, Wolfgang Puck Catering, and hotel representatives from Crowne Plaza Los Angeles, Hilton Los Angeles/Universal City, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE, Millennium Biltmore, Sofitel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills, and The Westin Bonaventure. To help drive traffic to our booth, we had a joint promotion with Universal Studios Hollywood offering a drawing to win a trip to see the premiere of DM2 (Despicable Me 2) scheduled for June 22, 2013. Almost 100 meeting planners entered the drawing.
dineLA’s wildly popular Restaurant Week returns July 15 – 26, 2013 for its second Summer Edition. Los Angeles’ brightest culinary sensations – Father’s Office founder Sang Yoon, Chef Govind Armstrong of Willie Jane and Post & Beam, soulful new restaurants winning acclaim, and Stefan Richter of “Top Chef” fame, and many more - invite gourmands from near and far to “Eat Your Heart Out” Restaurant Week. For 12 days, diners can get a taste of the vibrant Los Angeles restaurant scene with specially-priced $15, $20, and $25 lunch menus and $25, $35, and $45 dinner menus from hundreds of LA County’s most exciting restaurants. From lobster tacos and ceviche along the coast one night to osso bucco and bruschetta in Downtown the next, dineLA’s Restaurant Week is the perfect opportunity to explore LA’s diverse neighborhoods, cuisines, and dining experiences at a great value. For more information, visit www.discoverlosangeles.com/dinela-los-angeles-restaurant-week.
The first dineLA Restaurant Week was held in January 2008 and featured 143 restaurants from all over LA County. We now hold Restaurant Week in January and July, showcasing nearly 300 restaurants. dineLA Restaurant Week has been a huge benefit to participating restaurants, which see an average 25% increase in sales during Restaurant Week. During the two Restaurant Weeks last year, as many as 300,000 diners participated, spending an additional $32 million in LA’s restaurants.
We are pleased to announce that LA Tourism has been recognized for Corporate & Incentive Travel Magazine’s 2013 Award of Excellence. Tourism bureaus chosen to receive this coveted honor were selected by subscribers who voted for those that best served their corporate meetings and/or incentive travel programs during the past year. In November, they will publish a special supplement announcing the winners to more than 40,000 subscribers.
LA TOURISM MEMBERS FEATURED ON STEVE HARVEY SHOW
On May 22 an episode of The Steve Harvey Show aired featuring Emily Kaufman - The Travel Mom - discussing how to have a fantastic local vacation in Los Angeles. They discussed some of LA’s best attractions, and Steve Harvey gave one lucky viewer an all-inclusive Los Angeles vacation package. The daytime NBC talk show recently won the People’s Choice Award, and averages 2 million viewers per episode. steveharveytv.com
LA’S HOLLYWOOD SIGN TO STAR IN EPISODE OF ABC’S HIT SHOW “THE BACHELORETTE”
The Hollywood Sign, which is celebrating its 90th anniversary this fall, is the site of the first one-on-one date of the upcoming season of ABC’s The Bachelorette. The newest Bachelorette, Desiree Hartsock, takes her date on a once-in-a-lifetime one-on-one hike through the Hollywood Hills culminating in a sunset champagne toast boasting sweeping views of Los Angeles from their perch on the Hollywood Sign as part of featuring the unique endless entertainment options in LA. The show airs Monday, June 3, 2013, at 8/7c on the ABC Television Network. For more information on The Bachelorette, visit abc.go.com/shows/the-bachelorette.
LA TOURISM COMMERCIAL APPEARING ON ALL QANTAS FLIGHTS
Starting in late May, all Qantas flights from Australia to Los Angeles will feature LA Tourism and Convention Board’s TV commercials promoting all of LA’s most prominent sites and attractions. The ad will be played on the video consoles of passengers every time a passenger starts up a film to watch in–flight. Australia represents the second largest international feeder market, with 387,000 visitors to Los Angeles in 2012.
NATIONAL TRAVEL AND TOURISM WEEK ROUNDUP - LA TOURISM MEMBER BREAKFAST
On Tuesday, May 7, LA Tourism hosted a Member Breakfast at The Center at Cathedral Plaza in Downtown for over 200 of our members and partners as part of National Travel & Tourism Week (May 4-12). The breakfast gave us an opportunity to show appreciation for all of our members and the crucial role they play in supporting tourism in LA’s economy, and offer our members a valuable opportunity to learn about some of LA Tourism’s future plans. LA Tourism President & CEO Ernest “Ernie” Wooden, Jr. was joined by L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilmember Tom LaBonge, Chair of the Travel, Commerce and Tourism Committee, and LA Tourism Board Chair Tom Mullen to make some important announcements.
We announced the opening of LA Tourism’s second Los Angeles destination travel and tourism office in Shanghai, China. Los Angeles was the first city to open a tourism office in China, and remains the only city in the world licensed to operate a tourism office in China. Ernie also announced his vision of reaching 50 million total visitors to Los Angeles by 2020, and what it will take get there, including bringing more hotels to Los Angeles, continuing to improve infrastructure including LAX and public transportation, and expanding the LA Convention Center to attract larger conventions that fill up more LA hotels.
CAR FREE LA INSTAGRAM PHOTO A HUGE HIT
LA Tourism hosted a Car Free LA Music tour with 50 guests and bloggers as part of the ever-expanding development and popularity of our Car Free LA Program. The tour began at the Michael Jackson Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, then a short walk and a Metro bus trip up to the Sunset Strip. There they were joined by a representative from West Hollywood’s Convention and Visitors Bureau and walked to the famous and historical Rainbow Room, Whiskey A Go Go, and Viper Room music clubs. The group stopped for a rocker-inspired cocktail at Andaz West Hollwood and heard tales about the hotel’s rock music roots. Then they hopped on a bus to the Hollywood Farmer’s Market and Amoeba Music, to browse through the thousands of LPs and CDs while DJs were spinning great tunes. They caught the Metro Red Line to end the tour at Hollywood and Highland Center.
Check out a photo of the group here: http://ow.ly/i/29vys
The tour was a huge hit, and gained destination and LA Tourism members significant online and social media coverage. Several tweets and photos from the tour were re-tweeted by the LA Times Citybeat Twitter feed @LATimescitybeat, and overall the tour gained a total of at least 849,000 Twitter impressions. The tour also got great positive coverage on NBC’s news blog. To see the story, visit http://www.nbclosangeles.com/entertainment/the-scene/LAs-Gamut-Covered-b...
LAST CHANCE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF “MEMBERS ONLY” DISCOUNT TO PARTICIPATE IN THE BIZBASH IDEAFEST
For the third consecutive year, LA Tourism is partnering with BizBash for its annual Expo on Wednesday, June 19, 2013 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. LA Tourism is extending a “Members Only” opportunity to purchase booth space at a deeply discounted rate and non-exhibitor attendees will receive 20% off tradeshow floor pass. More than 1,200 event planners and event pros in the industry are expected to attend the Expo for a full day of idea sharing and learning, networking, and seeing the latest and greatest event venues, catering, entertainment, technology, rentals, tents and transportation. BizBash IdeaFest attendees are passionate about planning corporate, social, and nonprofit events and meetings and include independent meeting and event planners, in-house corporate planners, wedding and social event planners. Hundreds of exhibitors have used BizBash IdeaFest to showcase their offerings, gain new clients, and build successful new relationships. For more information on BizBash Ideafest visit www.bizbash.com/bizbash-events/idea-fest/2013/los-angeles. For more information please contact Mondi Valiyee at [email protected] or (310) 862 -1346 or inquire online. FLOORPLAN: www.expocad.com/host/fx/bizbash/bbla13/default.html
2013 BOOTH AGREEMENT: www.bizbash.com/txtfiles/expo_content/2013/los-angeles/downloads
COUNCILMEMBER ERIC GARCETTI ELECTED NEXT MAYOR OF LOS ANGELES
11th District Councilmember Eric Garcetti was elected the next Mayor of the City of Los Angeles in the City elections on Tuesday, May 21. Garcetti got 54% of the vote over City Controller and former 2nd District Councilmember Wendy Greuel’s 46%. Both Garcetti and Greuel have been strong supporters of LA’s tourism and hospitality industry. Mayor-elect takes office on July 1, 2013, replacing outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who is finishing his second term in office. Also on May 21, former Councilmember and State Assemblymember Mike Feuer was elected City Attorney, Mike Galperin was elected City Controller, and new City Councilmembers were elected in Districts 1, 6, 9 and 13. For more information about the election results, visit graphics.latimes.com/la-runoff-results-may-2013/.
NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF LA CONVENTION CENTER APPOINTED
LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa on May 7 tapped Robert "Bud" Ovrom, General Manager of the LA Department of Building & Safety to serve as Interim Executive Director of the Los Angeles Convention Center, with a recommendation for his permanent appointment. If confirmed by the City Council, Ovrom, a former City Manager of both Monrovia and Burbank, would leave his current post. Ovrom was a Deputy Mayor for Economic Development during Villaraigosa' first term, overseeing the LA Convention Center and major tourism projects such as L.A. Live.
GREAT HALL OF TOM BRADLEY INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL TO BE NAMED AFTER MAYOR VILLARAIGOSA
The Daily News reported on May 21 that The Los Angeles Board of Airport Commissioners, whose members are appointed by the mayor, unanimously moved Tuesday to name the great hall of the new Tom Bradley International Terminal after outgoing Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa "The mayor wasted no time after he was sworn in, in July 2005, to focus on airport issues," commission President Michael Lawson said. "The signature modernization project was the development of Bradley West - the largest public works project in the history of the city."
ONTARIO’S CLAIM TO REGAIN CONTROL OF ONTARIO AIRPORT REJECTED
On Tuesday, May 21, 2013, after a closed session, Los Angeles World Airport (LAWA) officials said they rejected an administrative claim brought by the city of Ontario to dissolve the 1967 joint-powers agreement under which Los Angeles World Airports operates LA/Ontario airport. Ontario officials had sought to regain control of the airport.