WORDS FROM WOODEN – October, 2013
As the leaves begin to change in much of the United States and folks put away their summer clothes and take out their sweaters, visitors to LA are still enjoying our signature blue skies and warm beach weather.
The record-breaking summer is still keeping LA’s tourism industry warm. During the six week period between July 27 and Aug. 31, we saw double-digit growth in LA County hotels’ Revenue Per Available Room (RevPar) over the same period in 2012, and in that period it has grown every year since the great recession. July’s LA County-wide hotel occupancy broke all records, at 85.1%.
The high occupancy rates emphasize LA tourism's central role as a regional economic and job- creation powerhouse and LA’s continuing popularity as a global tourist destination. The demand is there, and it’s fueling our drive to welcome 50 million annual visitors to LA by 2020. It’s also a crucial incentive to bring more new hotel development in LA, which we need in order to accommodate 50 million visitors.
On Wednesday, Sept. 18, we marked a major milestone for tourism in LA when a Singapore Airlines A-380 jet broke the ribbon on the new $1.9-billion Tom Bradley International Terminal.
The terminal will give LAX more A-380 next-generation jet gates than any other airport in America. Upgraded security and baggage facilities will dramatically speed up processing. And the gorgeous new Great Hall will welcome passengers with luxurious lounges, and more than 60 ultra high-end shops and restaurants that reflect LA.
The terminal is one of the cornerstones of our strategy to grow tourism in LA by increasing international visitation.
In September, I traveled to Japan, South Korea and China together with our International Team to promote the destination and our members and partners to increase travel to Los Angeles and to advocate for more direct international flights to Los Angeles. I met with numerous international airline executives, travel trade media and international tour operators to ensure that our crucial international visitation keeps growing strongly.
These are just a few of the exciting developments we are sharing with you in this month’s newsletter.
As always, LATCB will be there, working on behalf of our members and partners, and making sure that the world keeps coming to LA.
With best wishes,
Ernest Wooden, Jr.
President and CEO
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board