NEWS & NOTES – JUNE 2014
MODERNIZATION PLANS MOVING FORWARD FOR LOS ANGELES CONVENTION CENTER
The Los Angeles City Council has approved $10 million in short-term enhancements for the Los Angeles Convention Center (LACC). The improvements will begin later this year, and include aesthetic improvements of the interior of the Concourse Hall, Concourse Walkway, and Hall G, H, J, and K lobby areas; complete renovation of the LACC’s Theater; upgraded dimmable lighting controls for meeting rooms; and upgrades to the air-walls, HVAC, escalators, elevators and security systems. A new energy-efficient “green roof” will be installed on the South Hall to help keep the building cool while reducing energy usage.
The City Council also approved the "Plan B" concept to modernize and expand the LACC. The City and LACC developed “Plan B” as a parallel path to AEG's "Plan A" proposal to build an NFL football stadium and modernize LACC, which is contingent upon NFL agreeing to place a team in L.A. Under Plan B, a design contest would be held for more than two dozen architectural firms happening this year.
LATCB INTRODUCES NEW MOBILE DESTINATION WEBSITE
With now more than 30% of visitors to LATCB's website accessing the information via mobile devices, LATCB has launched a new mobile website: m.discoverLosAngeles.com. The new mobile site offers visitors the ability to easily access LATCB’s online resources with a smartphone and keep them engaged with LATCB members and partners, both before traveling and while on the ground in L.A. so they can create their perfect L.A. story. Adhering to a similar look and feel, the mobile site parallels the award-winning desktop design of the LATCB website. Some of the key functionality includes geo-detection that displays nearby hotels, restaurants, attractions and events. The custom itinerary-building functionality of the desktop website has also been translated to the mobile experience to allow visitors to access their itinerary on the go. LATCB’s Chinese website (helloLA.cn) also now has mobile functionality to accommodate L.A.’s fastest growing international market. Additional mobile sites will debut later this year.
LATCB’S NEW VISITOR INFORMATION KIOSKS WILL HELP TRAVELERS CONNECT DIRECTLY TO HOTELS, BUY TICKETS, BUILD ITINERARIES
Starting in July, LATCB rolls out new digital visitor information kiosks at several major tourist spots across Los Angeles. The kiosks will be placed in areas with very high tourist foot traffic. They offer visitors an interactive touchscreen that enables them to quickly and easily find hotels, transportation, attractions, and special deals near their location, or anywhere in L.A. and purchase tickets on-site. The kiosks provide an informative resource for visitors, and a valuable marketing opportunity and direct point-of-sale tool for LATCB members and partners. Watch for announcements about advertising opportunities on the kiosks in the coming weeks. For more information, please contact Marketing Manager Yasmin Moaven at YMoaven@latourism.org.
LOS ANGELES WELCOMES E3 2014
LATCB President & CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. joined Mayor Garcetti and Mike Gallagher, President & CEO of the Entertainment Software Assocation (ESA), in cutting the ribbon to announce the opening of ESA’s E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, on Tuesday, June 10 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. This is the 20th E3, the premier video game industry convention, drawing more than 47,000 industry professionals from around the world, generating more than 25,000 hotel room nights and an estimated $45 million in economic impact for Los Angeles.
dineL.A. SUMMER RESTAURANT WEEK IN JULY PROMISES TO BE BIGGEST YET
The dineL.A. Summer Restaurant Week, July 14-27, promises to be the biggest Restaurant Week ever, showcasing Los Angeles as a premier dining destination, highlighting the diversity of culinary experiences L.A. has to offer. This year, diners will have two additional weekend days to indulge in some of the best cuisine in the world at more than 350 restaurants throughout Los Angeles County. Participating restaurants offer specially priced prix-fixe menus at $15, $20, or $25 for lunch, and $25, $35, or $45 for dinner. A complete list of participating restaurants will be posted at www.discoverLosAngeles.com/dineLA.
LATCB WELCOMES NATIONAL COALITION OF BLACK MEETING PLANNERS STUDENT AWARD PROGRAM RECIPIENTS
LATCB partnered with the National Coalition of Black Meeting Planners (NCBMP) to create the Student Award, a hands-on experience for future leaders in hospitality. The recipients, Stephanie C. Abaga, who is working toward a Bachelor's in Hotel and Restaurant Management at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and Derrell Parker, who received a Bachelor's in Hospitality Administration/Management from North Carolina Central University, were selected by the organization and their student peers at the 2013 NCBMP Annual Education Conference. They spent two days in Los Angeles expanding their knowledge of the tourism and hospitality industry with hands-on experiences, meetings and shadowing with industry professionals, and mentorship.
LAX WELCOMES 7,000-PERSON “PERFECT CHINA” INCENTIVE GROUP
On May 21, 2014, LATCB, in partnership with Los Angeles World Airports (LAWA), welcomed 6,500 attendees at LAX for the Perfect China Incentive Group. The Perfect China conference was comprised of top-tier direct marketing professionals visiting the L.A. area May 21-26. Attendees of the conference had an opportunity to experience many of the L.A. area’s top attractions, beaches, shopping, restaurants and more. China International Travel Service (CITS), China’s leading destination management company, coordinated the group’s arrival in Southern California. LATCB worked with LAX and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to ensure a fast, courteous arrival process. The trip also showcased the new Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) as the premiere western gateway to the U.S. The trip presented a major opportunity to grow L.A.’s share of the expanding Chinese Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Exhibitions (MICE) market. The group is estimated to have spent approximately $85 million in South California hotels and businesses.
LATCB EARNS 2014 “AWARD OF EXCELLENCE” FROM CORPORATE & INCENTIVE TRAVEL MAGAZINE
LATCB was selected to receive Corporate & Incentive Travel magazine’s 2014 Award of Excellence. The 40,000 subscribers of Corporate & Incentive Travel vote on the hotels, resorts, conference centers and convention and visitors bureaus that have hosted their meetings and incentive travel programs and have demonstrated the highest levels of service and support. Criteria include marketing and promotional assistance, level of supplier facility and venue information, coordination with local officials, attractions and transportation, and level of assistance with accommodations and site inspections.
LATCB NAMED 2014 PINNACLE AWARDS WINNER BY SUCCESSFUL MEETINGS MAGAZINE
LATCB was named by Successful Meetings Magazine the 2014 Pinnacle Award Winner. The magazine surveys its audience of meeting professionals, event and incentive planners on their choice for the CVBs, hotels and conference centers that have demonstrated the highest level of hospitality and service.
BORDEAUX TO SALUTE L.A. AS “GUEST OF HONOR” AT ONE OF EUROPE’S LARGEST FESTIVALS
Los Angeles is being saluted as “Guest of Honor” at the biennial Bordeaux Wine Festival, June 26-29 in Bordeaux, France, in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Los Angeles-Bordeaux Sister City affiliation. The four-day event draws approximately 600,000 visitors and 300 media outlets from around the world. LATCB will be featured in a 3,000 square-foot pavilion, outfitted to promote cultural tourism to Los Angeles with banners, video installations and permanent collection catalogs from L.A.’s leading museums. Chef John Sedlar of Rivera restaurant will represent L.A.'s dining scene as culinary ambassador, and will curate VIP meals during the festival. LATCB is partnering with Air France to host a private reception at the Los Angeles Pavilion for travel media and travel-industry professionals to promote the destination and LATCB members and partners.
ONLINE FLIPBOOK PROMOTES L.A.’S TOP CULTURAL ATTRACTIONS
Last June, LATCB partnered with US Airways Magazine to produce a 116-page cover feature on L.A.’s vibrant cultural attractions in the inflight magazine, which is distributed to 6 million passengers monthly. LATCB has turned the feature into a special printed edition, the L.A. Culture Guide, and created a digital flipbook. The flipbook is posted on the arts and culture page of DiscoverLosAngeles.com, where it can be seen by the more than 7 million unique visitors to our website. To see the flipbook, click here.
SPRING DISCOVER THE ARTS PROGRAM RESULTS
To promote the arts in Los Angeles and drive spring visitation to L.A., LATCB partnered with online travel agencies Orbitz and Hotels.com to promote overnight stays through the 6th annual Discover the Arts program. Visitors who booked a hotel stay in Los Angeles between April 7 and May 16 received special hotel rates and exclusive offers to some of L.A.’s most prestigious museums and cultural institutions during their visit. More than 30 cultural organizations participated in the program, ranging from the Autry National Center to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to Gloria Kaufman Presents Dance at the Music Center to the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. The program generated nearly 58,000 hotel room nights and reached 13.4 million consumers in L.A.’s key domestic feeder markets, including New York, Chicago, San Francisco and San Diego.
LATCB & AMERICAN AIRLINES PARTNERING ON shopL.A. SHOPPING INCENTIVE FOR CHINESE VISITORS
LATCB introduced a new campaign in partnership with American Airlines to promote the new shopL.A. program in China. Now through August 31, 2014, all Chinese travelers who book tickets to fly to Los Angeles with American Airlines using AA.com will be rewarded with a copy of LATCB’s shopL.A. coupon book. The shopL.A. book, launched in early 2014 as part of LATCB’s NiHao China Program to grow Chinese visitation to L.A., offers Chinese visitors up to $2,500 in discounts at participating L.A.-area shopping centers. For more information, email International Tourism Coordinator Jessica Chang at Jchang@latourism.org.
LATCB MENTORSHIP PROGRAM SUPPORTING FUTURE TOURISM PROFESSIONALS
LATCB proudly awarded a $2,000 scholarship to Sharon Garcia, who will be attending California State University, Los Angeles as part of LATCB’s annual educational scholarship program. Throughout the year, LATCB participates in a mentorship program with the Miguel Contreras School of Business and Tourism as part of our community outreach efforts and to support the tourism industry by offering opportunities to future generations of bright young tourism professionals. The program consists of resume writing, mock interviews and job shadowing for the junior and senior classes, culminating in the awarding of LATCB’s educational scholarship.
CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS - WHAT’S YOUR L.A. STORY
Does your business have an employee with an amazing L.A. Story? As part of LATCB’s new “What’s Your L.A. Story” marketing and advertising campaign, we're looking for the best stories in the Los Angeles hospitality industry. On an ongoing basis, we are featuring select stories on www.discoverLosAngeles.com and our social media channels. To submit your L.A. story, click here.
The LATCB PR Team has been working hard to keep L.A. and LATCB members and partners in the news and on the minds of travelers around the globe. The PR Team has been rolling out coordinated media efforts, pitching and securing stories about L.A. 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.
“SPRING COCKTAILS, L.A. STYLE” - THE TODAY SHOW WITH KATHIE LEE AND HODA
The LATCB PR Team and SBE partnered with NBC morning talk show The Today Show with Kathy Lee and Hoda for a special segment taped in New York City with mixologist Dan Vickery demonstrating how to make special spring seasonal cocktails inspired by L.A.’s warm sunny weather.
"LOS ANGELES: THE NEW ART AND STYLE CAPITAL?" - W MAGAZINE
The PR Team worked with W Magazine for an 18-page feature in the June/July issue highlighting L.A. as a capital of art, fashion and style. The article features photo shoots with models at many of L.A.'s leading modern art museums, art galleries and art foundations in Downtown, Mid-City, Culver City, Venice, and East Hollywood. W Magazine has a circulation of 466,247. To see the article, click here.
“SUMMER ATTRACTIONS IN L.A.” - SAN DIEGO CONNECTC
The PR Team worked with ABC 10 San Diego’s San Diego Connect show and host Autumn Doermann for a segment about some of L.A.’s top summer events, attractions, hotel promotions, and activities to drive holiday and summer visitation from San Diego, a key domestic market for Los Angeles.
“SUMMER ATTRACTIONS IN L.A.” – STREETSIDE SAN DIEGO
The PR Team worked with NBC 7 San Diego's show Streetside San Diego and host Kelly Leclair for a segment about some of L.A.’s top summer events, attractions, hotel promotions, and activities to drive holiday and summer visitation from San Diego, a key domestic market for Los Angeles. To see the video clip, click here. http://my.lainc.us/media/fy13-14/May2014/Streetside-DiscoverLA-MMorgan_…
“MEMORIAL DAY & SUMMER ATTRACTIONS IN L.A.” – NEWS10 ABC, SACRAMENTO
The LATCB PR Team worked with News10 ABC talk show Sac & Co. hosted by Melissa Paul for a story about some of L.A.’s top Memorial Day and summer events, attractions, hotel promotions, and activities to drive holiday and summer visitation from Sacramento, a key domestic market. The show is seen by an estimated 2.8 million viewers.
“A TASTE OF EVERYWHERE IN L.A.” - NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC ONLINE
The PR Team worked with National Geographic to produce an article about L.A.’s burgeoning dining scene. The article explored L.A.’s incredible variety of international cuisine and some of its ethnic neighborhoods, including Koreatown, Little Armenia, the San Gabriel Valley, Downtown L.A. and the San Fernando Valley. To see the article, click here.
LATCB RELEASES RECORD ECONOMIC IMPACT DATA FOR LOS ANGELES – MULTIPLE PUBLICATIONS
The PR Team worked with the Daily News, Los Angeles Times, KPCC-89.3 FM, KNX-AM 1070, Los Angeles Business Journal and Los Angeles Register for articles about LATCB's release of the record-breaking 2013 tourism economic impact data for Los Angeles. The Daily News article also ran in several publications of Daily News' parent company, Los Angeles News Group, in print and online, including the Long Beach Press Telegram, San Jose Mercury News, and Contra Costa Times. The articles were also re-published by numerous other outlets, including Bloomberg Businessweek and Skift.com. The resulting coverage reached a total of more than 32.2 million unique monthly viewers. To see the Daily News article, click here.
“LIFE AS CALIFORNIA GIRLS” - COSMOPOLITAN MEXICO
The PR Team worked with Cosmopolitan Magazine, Mexico on an article about hotels, shopping, dining and wellness in Los Angeles, Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The article explores Robertson Blvd., the Original Farmers Market, Santa Monica Pier, Rodeo Drive in Bevery Hills, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Cosmopolitan Mexico has a circulation of 225,000. To see the article, click here.
“REVITALIZED DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES IS FULL OF CULTURE AND CUISINE; COMPETES WITH BEACHES” - O GLOBO BRAZIL
The PR Team worked with O Globo Brazil, one of the most important newspapers in Brazil, for an article on Downtown L.A.’s burgeoning dining, shopping and art attractions. The article appeared in both print (circulation: 240,000) and online (audience: 63,700,000). To see the article, click here.
“DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES IS THE NEW EPICENTER OF COOL” - BELLE MAGAZINE AUSTRALIA
The PR Team worked with Belle Magazine, Australia (circulation 45,055) for an article about Downtown L.A. as "the new epicenter of cool." The article explored the Arts District’s countless edgy eateries, quirky design stores and galleries popping up in decadent old buildings and gritty industrial spaces. To see the article, click here.
"IN L.A.'S KOREATOWN, EAST MEETS WEST MEETS TACOS" - WALL STREET JOURNAL
The PR Team worked with Wall Street Journal reporter Chaney Kwak for a feature on L.A.'s Koreatown. The article highlighted the exciting restaurants, cocktail bars and the recently Line Hotel in the Koreatown neighborhood. The article reached an audience of 37,293,917. To see the article, click here.
Billionaire investor Elon Musk recently announced plans to develop a "hyperloop" system that would enable transport between Los Angeles and San Francisco in approximately 30 minutes, which is faster than a lot of everyday activities visitors and local Angelenos enjoy on a daily basis. Here are ten activities that would actually take more time than it would require to ride the Hyperloop from San Francisco to Los Angeles.
RECORD GROWTH IN INTERNATIONAL AIR SERVICE TO LAX IN 2014
Los Angeles has achieved a dramatic growth in the number of new and expanded international air routes to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Already in 2014, LAX has welcomed seven new international routes, as well as eight upgrades of aircraft or expansions on existing international routes. The new service into L.A. hails from Sweden, Denmark, Saudia Arabia, Mexico, Norway, United Arab Emirates, and the U.K. These new routes come on the heels of securing two all-new daily international flights and four upgrades of existing flights to next-generation aircraft in 2013.
$2.1 BILLION IN FUNDING SECURED FOR PURPLE LINE SUBWAY EXTENSION
Metro finalized a $2 billion federal funding agreement that means construction can begin later this year on the extension of the Metro Purple Line Subway. The first phase of the 3.9 mile addition to the existing Purple Line will go from the current end point at Wilshire Blvd. and Western Ave., past Hancock Park and Museum Row into Beverly Hills to Wilshire and La Cienega Ave. Ultimately, the plan calls for extending all the way to Westwood Village. For more information, click here.
SOUTHWEST TO EXPAND LAX TERMINAL IMPROVEMENTS
LAX announced that an additional $125 million in renovations will be added to the $384 million renovation project currently underway at Southwest's LAX terminal. The additional renovations will include improvements to the concourse, security screening checkpoint, roof, structural seismic improvements, canopy replacement and exterior facade enhancement, and building an additional gate. The original $384 million plans, which are underway, include renovations to the Skycap, ticket lobby, baggage claim, airline offices, security screening and baggage inspection systems, concourse, concessions, passenger boarding bridges, and other systems. For more information, click here.
ORIGINAL FARMERS MARKET OPENS LAX BRANCH
The Original Farmers Market has opened its first outside location at LAX's Terminal 5 (Delta), adding to the growing lineup of dining and shopping options available at the airport. Travelers passing through the Delta Terminal will find a scaled-down version of the Original Farmers Market, an echo of the original in a modern space. Nine vendors from the original location are represented, offering hot Mexican dishes from Loteria! Grill, wine, cheese, pastries and snacks from Monsieur Marcel Gourmet Market, fresh fruit, produce, flowers, and more.
LOS ANGELES NAMED MOST LGBT-FRIENDLY U.S. CITY
Los Angeles was named the #1 most LGBT-friendly U.S. city by Vocativ, beating out New York and San Francisco. The Reuters News article accompanying the list noted, "Los Angeles ranked especially high for couples, but also has a 'healthy dating pool." Los Angeles has been a leader in welcoming LGBT visitors, and is the host city of the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) World Tourism Conference in May 2015. To see the article, click here.