WORDS FROM WOODEN – December, 2013

President and CEO Ernest Wooden Jr., LATCB

As 2013 draws to an end, I can confidently say that the LA tourism industry has had a tremendously successful year, and we are entering 2014 with the wind at our backs.

We started off 2013 strong with news that 2012 was a record-breaking year, with 41.4 million visitors to Los Angeles. From there, we charted the course to reaching 50 million total visitors to Los Angeles by 2020, our Northstar goal of growing tourism to benefit the economy, boost business and create jobs in LA. We are on track to meet that goal.

LATCB launched our first domestic destination brand TV campaign in 2013, featuring LA celebrity chef Wolfgang Puck and celebrity Angeleno Mario Lopez, which generated a 6% increase in intent to visit to Los Angeles. The advertising was bolstered by strong domestic press to the tune of $11 million worth of media value, including two weeks on The Today Show and a hotel room promotion that generated more than 60,000 hotel room nights.

We extended that campaign internationally with our first consumer advertising effort in the U.K., Australia and Canada.

Additional marketing programs included two dineLA Restaurant Week events, generating a total of $31 million in additional spending in Los Angeles restaurants and national and international media coverage about LA as a leading culinary destination.

We also ran two highly successful arts and culture marketing campaigns in 2013. The “LA Museum Season” program this fall generated more than 29,000 hotel room nights and $8.8 million in direct visitor spending. The spring “Discover the Arts” program generated 23,000 hotel room nights and $5.6 million in visitor spending.

On the heels of marriage equality returning to California in 2013. Los Angeles was named “2013 Destination of the Year” by British gay lifestyle magazine Attitude.

While 2013 was a soft year for the conventions industry nationwide, we still hosted 22 citywide conventions at the Los Angeles Convention Center, which generated an economic impact of $246 million. That included E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo), LA’s biggest convention of the year, which drew 45,000 attendees, and generated 28,000 hotel room nights and had a $40 million economic impact. The 2013 RIMS (Risk Management Society) conference drew 10,000 attendees and generated 18,336 hotel room nights and had an economic impact of $24 million.
In calendar year 2013, we saw strong achievements from our Hotel Sales team, which generated 1,380 leads and attended nearly 70 tradeshows, as they worked to keep the meetings and group travel business strong with Los Angeles hotels.
Los Angeles achieved a strong growth in the number of new and expanded international air routes to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in 2013, affirming the City’s ascendance as a leading international destination. LAX added two all-new daily international flights and four upgrades of existing flights to next-generation aircraft.

That adds to gains since 2011, with 10 new overseas international air services, hailing from Japan, China, Germany, France, Australia, the U.K., Dubai and Brazil. We hope to see that trend continue, thanks to the strong competitive position LAX has with the opening of the Tom Bradley International Terminal, with 9 out of 18 gates able to handle the largest next generation A-380 jets, more than any other airport in the United States.

These achievements are a testament to the support, passion, drive, creativity of our members, and the power we have when we work as a team to grow tourism in LA. And our reward is the prospect that 2013 will be another record-breaking year.

Coming off of these achievements, we can all look forward to the new year with confidence and optimism for LA’s tourism industry. As always, LATCB will be working on behalf of our members and partners, to keep the world coming to LA.

On behalf of LATCB, we wish you and your family a happy, healthy holiday, and a prosperous new year.

With best wishes,

Ernest Wooden, Jr.
President and CEO
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board