NEWS & NOTES - JANUARY 2014

RECORD VISITATION NUMBERS IN 2013

LATCB President & CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. joined Mayor Eric Garcetti  to announce that Los Angeles welcomed a record 42.2 million visitors in 2013, a 2% increase over 2012’s 41.4 million, beating mid-year projections by 150,000 visitors and breaking visitation records for the third consecutive year. The announcement was made at a press conference at the California Science Center, one of the city’s landmark cultural institutions and a top attraction, which is also home to the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour.

Total domestic visitation to Los Angeles reached 36 million visitors in 2013, a 1.9% increase over 35.3 million in 2012. Domestic overnight visitation achieved its highest historical level with 22.3 million overnight visitors, a growth of 2.2% or 490,000 more than in 2012.

Total international visitation set a record with 6.2 million visitors, a 2.6% percent increase over 2012. China was the biggest driver of overseas visitation with a year-over-year growth of more than 21%, and solidified its position as LA’s No. 1 overseas market. LA Tourism recently opened a second office in China (offices are now in Beijing and Shanghai) and will continue to develop innovative marketing efforts to attract this large and growing market.

LA's hotel occupancy and hotel room nights sold both set all-time record highs in 2013. Hotel occupancy for the year reached 76.8%, surpassing the previous 2012 record of 75.4%.LA County’s hotels sold a record 27.2 million room nights in 2013, an increase of 2.1% percent over 2012.

To see news coverage of the press conference, click here. 

STRONG GROWTH IN EVENTS AT LOS ANGELES CONVENTION CENTER AHEAD IN 2014

Following one of the softest meetings and conventions years in recent history across the country, Los Angeles will enjoy a healthy recovery in 2014. To date, LATCB has booked 29 events into the Convention Center in 2014, bringing an estimated 255,000 room nights, approaching decade-high performance. This high level of room nights will create compression throughout the Los Angeles area. Looking ahead, both 2015 and 2016 look strong for LA, with more than 20 shows already booked each year. We continue to aggressively pursue business for 2014 and all future years, and will soon be rolling out several marketing initiatives to further augment our efforts, including:

  •  A new advertising campaign in major meetings trade publications launching later this month
  • A dedicated meeting planner promotion launching later this month
  • The development of a business community partnership program to engage our leaders in pursuing, securing and welcoming meetings to LA

We continue to work closely with the Los Angeles Convention Center and its new private operator, AEG Facilities to further build the demand for the LA experience for meetings and conventions. 

TASTING MENUS & SPECIAL DEALS COMING UP FOR dineLA WINTER RESTAURANT WEEK

LATCB’s dineLA Winter Restaurant Week is back through Jan. 31, with over 350 restaurants offering a selection of specially-priced $15, $20 and $25 lunch menus; and $25, $25 and $45 dinner menus. Some of the city’s most sought-after fine dining destinations - CUT, mar’sel, Melisse, Patina Restaurant, Spago Beverly Hills, and Valentino Restaurant are offering $85 tasting menus. The tasting menus are offered for the first time in dineLA’s six-year history as a pilot program, and present diners a new way to experience LA’s signature bi-annual restaurant week and a range of dishes from each restaurant, specially composed for dineLA by the chefs. Home to Bon Appetit’s Best New Restaurant for 2013 and three of Esquire’s Best New Restaurants, Los Angeles continues to shine as one of the world’s most exciting dining destinations. Patina Catering in partnership with dineLA was chosen to be the exclusive caterer of the 2014 Critics’ Choice Awards dinner where 1,000 VIP's enjoyed a Los Angeles-inspired menu.

For a chance to savor Los Angeles’ cuisine all year long, diners can enter “dineLA for a Year.” Food lovers who sign up for the dineLA newsletter are automatically entered to win the ultimate prize-a restaurant  gift certificate every week for one year. The 52-week prize is valued at $2,600.

To book a reservation for dineLA’s Restaurant Week visit www.discoverlosangeles.com/dineLA.

LATCB, WATTS COMMUNITY VOLUNTEERS HELP DECORATE CITY OF LOS ANGELES' ROSE PARADE FLOAT

LATCB represented Los Angeles’ most iconic landmarks in brilliantly colored flowers on the official City of Los Angeles float for the 125th Rose Parade® on Jan. 1, 2014. LATCB collaborated with the City of Los Angeles and the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Association on the City of Los Angeles float, the longest-running float entry in its 116th consecutive year. The gorgeous “Endless Entertainment”-themed float was decorated entirely by hand, and LATCB had the privilege and honor of bringing in more than 84 volunteers representing the Watts Community to assist in decorating the float. The Watts Towers Arts Center, Charles Mingus Art Center Complex and the Watts Labor Community Action Committee, all of whom are LATCB members, recruited local high school students and their families to demonstrate Watts community pride by working an entire day decorating, prepping dry materials and filling water vials for all of the thousands of fresh flowers used to decorate the float. Los Angeles landmarks featured on the float were the Watts Towers, Olvera Street, Chinatown, the Space Shuttle Endeavour, Universal Studios, the Griffith Observatory and images of The Lakers.

The City of Los Angeles was seen in the Rose Parade by hundreds of thousands of parade attendees and many millions of TV viewers around the world. Thank you to all of the volunteers who worked so hard to make the float so beautiful and spectacular and for helping to proudly represent Los Angeles to the world!

To see a video clip of the Los Angeles float in the Rose Parade, click here

NEW AWARDS SEASON PROMOTION GOING STRONG

LA HOTEL PACKAGES INSPIRED BY THE STARS – LATCB launched a new “Stay Like a Star” Awards Season hotel package PR campaign in late November to celebrate Tinseltown and generate buzz to keep the entertainment capital of the world top-of-mind for travelers. The Ritz-Carlton LA is offering its American Music Awards (AMA) Ultimate VIP Weekend Package, with VIP access to AMA events and spa treatments. Thompson Beverly Hills goes athletic with a Red Carpet RIPT Package to get in shape for the red carpet. Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills is featuring pre-awards show beauty and wardrobe activities, and its Suite Drive program features newly-renovated suites with complimentary luxury or exotic cars such as Rolls Royces, Ferraris, Bentleys, Lamborghinis and Porsches. At Hotel Bel-Air, Wolfgang Puck celebrates his 20th anniversary as the caterer to The Oscars, with a Best-Dressed Package, an in-room dining promotion with Wolfgang Puck’s red carpet menu, a “best dressed” cocktail, a voting ballot and a take-home statuette. For more information, click here

2014 ENDLESS ENTERTAINMENT PROMOTION READY TO LAUNCH

LATCB Member Orbic Air was one of the first members to participate in Endless Enterainment, and posted a special offer for a romantic helicopter tour/picnic dinner on our website.

On Feb. 10, the LATCB Marketing Team kicks off the New Year with the Endless Entertainment promotion, offering special incentives to encourage travelers to book a trip to Los Angeles. The promotion is supported with digital advertising through a variety of online travel agent websites where consumers receive incentives on attractions, dining, shopping, cultural offers and more, if they book a multi-night stay in Los Angeles. Participating members benefit from potential direct bookings as well as increased marketing visibility.

If you are interested in participating or would like more information about the promotion, please contact Monica Nishimoto, LATCB Marketing Manager, at [email protected].

PR NEWSFLASH

The LATCB PR Team has been working hard to keep LA and LATCB members and partners in the news and on the minds of travelers. The PR Team has been rolling out coordinated media efforts, pitching and securing stories about LA and our members and partners to top-of-the-line consumer and travel trade publications for business and leisure travel, in the U.S. and abroad. Here is a sampling of recent high-profile media coverage. 

Vanidades

The PR Team worked on a four-page destination article with color photos in the December 2013 issue of Vanidades magazine, one of the most widely read Spanish language women’s fashion and beauty magazines, with a circulation of 512,294 across the United States, Mexico and other Latin American countries. The article highlighted activities, shopping, dining and museums in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Downtown, Santa Monica, Venice and Malibu, including numerous LATCB members and partners, and delivered an equivalent ad value of  $240,000. To see the article, click here.

Vogue Mexico & Vogue Latin America

The PR Team worked on a three-page destination article with color photos that ran separately in the December 2013 issues of both Vogue Mexico (special travel edition) and Vogue Latin America. The article highlighted attractions, hotels, fashion, and beauty in Beverly Hills, Hollywood, West Hollywood, the Valley, Downtown and Santa Monica, naming many LATCB members and partners. The Vogue Mexico article delivered an equivalent ad value of  $240,000, and the Vogue Latin America article delivered an ad value of $88,500.

To see the article, click here

United Airlines Hemispheres & Delta SKY Magazines

Two major airline magazines featured full destination cover stories that were published in January. The article in United Airlines’ Hemispheres Magazine, “Three Perfect Days – Los Angeles” offers a three-day itinerary in LA, filled with color photos and insider tips from LA-based tastemakers.  The article highlights numerous LA attractions, restaurants, museums and activities in Downtown, Hollywood, and the beaches, and names a number of LATCB members. Hemispheres has a monthly circulation of 576,000, and the 11-page article delivered an equivalent ad value of $451,792. To see the article click here. 

The 10-page article in Delta’s SKY Magazine covers LA’s arts and culture, and dining scenes, along with the vibrancy of LA’s Downtown area. SKY Magazine has a monthly circulation of 275,196.  

To see the SKY Magazine article, click here

EPISODE 2 - PBS FAMILY TRAVEL WITH COLLEEN KELLY – “EXPLORING LOS ANGELES” 

LATCB partnered with PBS to shoot a two-part episode of PBS’ new travel show, “Family Travel with Colleen Kelly”, featuring many of Los Angeles’ great attractions, neighborhoods and activities, as well as many LATCB members. The second episode aired Dec. 30, 2013. Family Travel with Colleen Kelly provides expert travel tips and insights to create easy, fun family vacations filled with once-in-a-lifetime memories. The show debuted nationally on PBS, which has a national audience of 220 million. The show is broadcast locally on KVCR and online. To see the second episode online, click here. 

LATCB Member Blue Breeze Band Plays at BCS National Championship Party

LATCB member, The Blue Breeze Band, was selected to perform before 7,000 Auburn University Tigers football fans during the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) Auburn Pregame Tailgate Party and Pep Rally on Jan. 6. The Tournament of Roses Association sponsored the tailgate party at the VIZIO, next to the Rose Bowl Stadium. The special public tailgate party included live telecasts from ESPNU and ESPN Radio, interactive games, music, food and drinks, pep rallies and performances by the university marching bands and cheerleaders. 

LATCB Gives Back for the Holidays with Midnight Mission

LATCB teamed up with member Midnight Mission for our annual Holiday Volunteer Day on Dec. 20, 2013. LATCB has a strong commitment to social responsibility and to the Los Angeles community as a whole, and the staff participates in various volunteer efforts every year. On Dec. 20, 22 staff members joined the Midnight Mission to prepare and serve holiday meals for more than 400 homeless individuals on Skid Row. The Midnight Mission offers a path to self-sufficiency to men, women and children who have lost everything, including emergency services, 12-step recovery programs, job training, education, and work training programs, to help people who are experiencing homelessness to rejoin their communities. The LATCB team also had discussions with The Midnight Mission staff on current challenges facing Skid Row, and learned about opportunities to assist further. For weeks before the event, LATCB also collected hundreds of donated new household items to be distributed by Midnight Mission to homeless individual and families in Los Angeles, including such crucial items as soap, lotion, toothbrushes and toothpaste, towels and sheets, can openers, clothing and toys for kids.

To learn more about Midnight Mission, visit http://www.midnightmission.org/.

 

 

 

INDUSTRY NEWS

 

Skift.com Names DiscoverLosAngeles.com One of the World’s 20 Best Tourism Sites 

The travel website Skift.com named LATCB’s website www.discoverLosAngeles.com, one of the top 20 best-designed tourism websites in the world. Skift applauded the website for a bold clean look, clearly representing the website’s top assets, including large colorful images, regional guides, and celebrity itineraries. Skift noted that the content is seen front and center and that the site is easily navigable for first-time visitors.

Read Full Article

LOS ANGELES AMONG MOST INSTAGRAMMED PLACES IN THE WORLD IN 2013

Citing statistics released by Instagram, CNN Travel reported the City of Los Angeles and several LA area attractions were listed among the most often posted places on photo sharing and social media site Instagram, one of the largest and most popular social media sites in the world. The City of Los Angeles was No. 3 of the most Instagrammed cities in the world, behind New York and Bangkok, and ahead of London, São Paulo, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, San Diego, Las Vegas and San Francisco. 

To read the CNN article, click here.

GQ Magazine Calls Downtown LA "The Coolest New Downtown in America"

GQ magazine published a lengthy article by writer Brett Martin proclaiming “America’s Next Great City is Inside L.A.” about Downtown’s remarkable revival into one of the most exciting neighborhoods in LA and in the country. The article gives accolades to Downtown’s food and bar scene, naming many of Downtown’s most highly acclaimed restaurants, and notes the eclectic mix of creative lofts, bold restaurants and bars, art scene, stylish hotels, museums and galleries, nightlife, gritty urban city life, ultra hip shops, and more. To read the article, click here. 

CTRIP RANKS LOS ANGELES AMONG TOP 10 DESTINATIONS IN THE WORLD

Los Angeles was ranked among the top 10 travel destinations in the world by visitors to Chinese travel website Ctrip. Over 1.9 million people participated in Cnet’s online contest for best travel destinations including domestic and international. Los Angeles came in at No. 8 in the ranking, the only long-haul destination other than Sydney, Australia (ranked no. 10). The Maldives, Phuket and Hong Kong ranked as the top 3 overseas destinations.

LAPD Reports Another Year of Decreasing Crime in Los Angeles

Mayor Eric Garcetti and Police Chief Charlie Beck announced the LAPD’s year-end crime statistics on Jan. 13, saying that the crime is at its lowest rate since 1949. The number of violent crimes in 2013 fell 12% from 2012, and is down 38.5% from 2008 levels. Gang-related crimes in 2013 were down 17.6% from 2012, and 47.9% from 2008. Property crimes in 2013 were 3.7% lower than in 2012, and 16.5% lower than in 2008. Mayor Garcetti and Chief Beck credited the 11 consecutive years of decreasing crime rates to better community policing tactics and increased gang reduction efforts. 

LAX Beach Playground Keeps Traveling Kids Happy at Tom Bradley International Terminal

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) opened its new “LAX Beach,” a beach-themed children’s play area filled with interactive elements, to keep traveling kids (and their parents) happy, in December 2013. Created by Westfield, the terminal concessions developer and manager, the 971 square foot LAX Beach is located in the dining terrace in the Grand Hall, is open to kids 2 to 8, and is the first play area for kids at LAX.