News & Notes - April 2019


Los Angeles Tourism Uses AR to Bring L.A. Sunset to Major Cities

Los Angeles Tourism created an Augmented Reality (AR) lens for Snapchat, bringing a stunning L.A. sunset to major cities across the country. As a means of attracting visitors to L.A., the AR lens used facial recognition and sky segmentation technology (the first-time sky segmentation has been used by a destination to attract visitation) to take over another city’s skyline between April 3- 17. From New York City to Chicago, Baltimore, Boston, Atlanta, Dallas, DC and Denver, Snapchat users were able put on a pair of sunglasses that project a real streaming L.A. sunset or see the fully immersive LA sunset projected over their current city skyline when they swapped camera.

Los Angeles Tourism is leveraging immersive tech as a strategic tool to create an emotional connection with consumers so that they yearn for the L.A. experience and become inspired to travel to the destination.  “We know how critical it is to entice visitors during the dreaming phase of travel,” said Vice President of Digital Marketing Bill Karz. “By bringing an epic L.A. sunset to some of our key markets through AR, we offered people an escape from the daily grind and long winter with an entertaining way to complement the decision-making process.”

Member Tip

Don’t forget you can order 2019 Official Visitors Guides & 2019 Visitors Maps through the Collateral Tab in the Member Portal. Please reach out to if you do not have access to the Member Portal.


Four members of Congress have introduced legislation proposing to change the Visa Waiver Program’s name to the Secure Travel Partnership. U.S. Travel Association Executive Vice President of Public Affairs and Policy Tori Barnes said: "Rebranding the Visa Waiver Program will have a lot of downstream benefits for both U.S. security and the U.S. economy. For many, the program has had the connotation of relaxed security standards, when in fact the opposite is true: membership in the VWP subjects entrants to rigorous pre-travel vetting, mandates other security enhancements such as un-counterfeitable biometric passports, and enables invaluable intelligence-sharing with our partners in the program. Just as good, facilitating travel for citizens of our closest security allies also entails billions of dollars in proven economic impact.

During February 2019, L.A.'s Leisure & Hospitality industry increased employment by 8,300 new jobs compared to the prior month, reaching a total of 530,800 jobs. This was the second largest increase of all eleven super sectors.

A study released by Oxford Economics shows Brand USA’s marketing efforts are generating a high return on investment and driving significant incremental international visitation and spend. Highlights of the study show Brand USA’s marketing efforts in FY2018 alone helped drive:

  • 1.13 million incremental international visitors to the USA who spent
  • $4.1 billion on travel and fare receipts with U.S. carriers, and generated
  • $1.17 billion in federal, state, and local taxes and
  • $8.9 billion in total economic impact, and supported
  • 52,305 incremental U.S. jobs

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