Sonam Kapoor and Anand Ahuja at STAPLES Center

Discover Sonam and Anand's LA


Discover Los Angeles

Tucked away near the famous Tropicana Pool - with its David Hockney painting at the bottom - The Rosy was a perfect place for Sonam and Anand to nosh.

January 2019 News & Notes


Discover Los Angeles

Los Angeles reached a historic milestone in 2018, welcoming 50 million visitors for the first time ever and accomplishing the destination’s ambitious tourism goal two years early. The new record is 1.5 million visitors higher than 2017’s total – a 3.1 percent increase – marking the eighth-consecutive year of tourism growth for Los Angeles. City leaders and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board President & CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. made the celebratory announcement using a hologram created by Los Angeles-based VNTANA, the leading provider of premium mixed reality experiences,  at a special gathering of L.A.’s tourism and hospitality community.

In surpassing 50 million total visitors, Los Angeles set new tourism records for domestic and international visitation, hosting an estimated 42.5 million domestic visitors (3 percent increase) and 7.5 million international visitors (3.6 percent increase).

After a slight decrease in 2017, visitation from Mexico in 2018 scored its highest total ever with 1.8 million visitors, a 4 percent increase. China recorded an all-time high 1.2 million visitors, making Los Angeles the number one ranked U.S. city for Chinese travelers (6.9 percent increase, the largest net gain among all international markets). Other international markets recording their highest visitation totals ever in 2018 include: Canada with 780,000 (4.5 percent increase); U.K. with 382,000 (3 percent increase); Japan with 349,000 (2.5 percent increase); Scandinavia with 190,000 (3.9 percent increase); and India with 130,000 (5.1 percent increase).

To view a video recap of the celebratory announcement, click here.

L.A. Tourism at Work - January 2019


China Hainan Airlines Changsha Travel Trade FAM

Hainan Airlines and L.A.Tourism co-hosted a FAM from Dec. 3-7, 2018 for a group of 11 travel trade representatives from the Changsha, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Beijing markets. The delegates arrived and departed through LAX Airport’s Tom Bradley International Terminal, experiencing all LAX has to offer including APC kiosks and shopping. In addition, they learned about flight frequencies between L.A. and China.

L.A. Tourism curated an educational itinerary which highlighted only-in-L.A. experiences including Universal Studios Hollywood, Warner Bros. Studios Tour, Petersen Automotive Museum, Venice, The Original Farmer’s Market, California Science Center, San Antonio Winery, OUE Skyspace, The Broad Museum, Citadel Outlets, Dolby Theatre and Hollywood & Highland. Accommodations were hosted by Airtel Plaza Hotel and Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites; transportation was provided by tour operator Ctour Holiday.

China CITS Shenzhen Incentive FAM

In partnership with China International Travel Service’s (CITS) Shenzhen office, L.A. Tourism organized an incentive FAM from Dec. 2-6, 2018 to reward the company’s top nine sellers of L.A. tour packages and TMD/member hotels. The group visited only-in-L.A. experiences including Petersen Automotive Museum, LACMA, The Original Farmer’s Market, Universal Studios Hollywood, Warner Bros. Studio Hollywood, DTLA, San Antonio Winery, The Broad Museum, OUE Skyspace, Citadel Outlets, Dolby Theatre and Hollywood & Highland. Accommodations were hosted by Four Points by Sheraton LAX and Courtyard by Marriott Westside; transportation was provided by tour operator Ctour Holiday.

German Product Manager FAM

In partnership with Marriott Hotels and United Airlines, L.A. Tourism hosted a destination awareness visit for seven German product managers from Nov. 30 – Dec. 4, 2018. The group visited several Los Angeles Marriott hotels during their trip as well as only-in-L.A. experiences including OUE Skyspace, Bike Center, Westfield Century City, Bikes and Hikes LA and the Private Suites LAX.  Accommodations were hosted by Sheraton Grand Los Angeles and the Westin Bonaventure Hotel & Suites.  

China Southern VIP Luncheon

On Dec. 18, 2018, L.A. Tourism President & CEO Ernest Wooden, Jr., along with LAWA officials, hosted China Southern’s VIP delegation in Los Angeles to celebrate the airline’s inaugural flight from Los Angeles to Shenyang. China Southern is the first and only carrier to fly from Shenyang to the U.S., with the route joining its already successful Guangzhou service.

Infinity Holidays Training Seminar

In partnership with Universal Studios Hollywood and Santa Monica Travel & Tourism, L.A. Tourism’s Australia office conducted a destination training seminar for Infinity Holidays (part of the Flight Centre Travel Group) in Adelaide, South Australia. A total 10 wholesale travel agents took part in the seminar, which focused on L.A.’s unique geography, hotel offerings for family and millennial travelers as well as key updates on LAX’s redevelopments and direct air service from the region. Agents were also encouraged to register for the LA Insider online training program.

Luxury Home Based Agency Luncheon

L.A. Tourism’s Australia travel trade manager Kathleen Finneran hosted a lunch & learn for luxury travel agents in Adelaide, South Australia in partnership with Universal Studios Hollywood and Santa Monica Travel & Tourism. Staff from Kaleidoscopic Travel, a newly established agency network primarily focused on luxury travel received the latest destination and product updates with a focus on luxury hotels and premium travel experiences.

Phil Hoffman Travel Training Seminar

L.A. Tourism conducted a training seminar at top-selling travel agency Phil Hoffman Travel, part of the Helloworld Group for 40 travel agents and product staff in Adelaide, South Australia. Attendees received destination updates on new hotel product and LAX’s modernization. Santa Monica Travel & Tourism and Universal Studios Hollywood also participated in the training.

Korea Training

L.A. Tourism’s representative office in Korea hosted a training seminar for 11 travel agencies on Dec. 12, 2018. Rep Michaela Lee shared information on LAX Airport, the newest L.A. hotels and attractions as well as the launch of the LA Insider training module in Korean.

L.A. Tourism in Europe

GFR Call Center Trainings, Germany
On Dec. 13, 2018, L.A. Tourism’s Germany office conducted four destination trainings in Bochum for 90 agents from the GFR call center. GFR handles 200 hotlines and is the point of contact for 10,000 travel agencies and 1,500 mobile travel mediators.  The training provided a platform to share the latest L.A. product updates and promote the L.A. Insider online training program.  

Product Manager Fam Trip, Germany
In cooperation with Marriott Hotels and United Airlines, L.A. Tourism hosted a FAM for seven German product managers from Nov. 30 – Dec. 4, 2018. The group’s educational itinerary highlighted Downtown Los Angeles, Hollywood and Venice with an LA Kings game at STAPLES Center. The group also visited 12 Los Angeles hotels during their visit.

US Specialists Brunch Training in Paris

On Dec. 6, 2018, L.A. Tourism’s France office hosted a brunch & learn for 14 product managers and US travel specialists.  During the training, attendees learned about the L.A. Insider program and were encouraged to use the French Discover Los Angeles website as a resource.  They also received updates on LAX’s modernization and new Los Angeles hotels and attractions.

Travel Agents Training in Nantes, France

On Dec. 19, 2018, L.A. Tourism’s France office hosted a training for 15 product managers and US travel specialists in Nantes.  During the training, attendees learned about the L.A. Insider program and received updates on LAX’s modernization and new Los Angeles hotels and attractions.

December Agents Training – Europe

L.A. Tourism’s Scandinavia office undertook a December L.A. Insider Training incentive, reaching 38 agencies and 107 travel agents in Sweden and Denmark. Training highlighted L.A. Insider, new L.A. product and direct flights.

L.A. Tourism in China

Angels Salon with American Airlines and Hainan Airlines

In December, L.A. Tourism’s China office co-hosted its signature trade event “Angels Salon” with airline partners American Airlines (in Beijing and Guangzhou) and Hainan Airlines (in Chengdu). Staff and guests celebrated the new year immersed in various aspects of the L.A. lifestyle - from street culture to photo spots and shopping and dining. A VIP tourism roundtable event was also held in Beijing to review the performance of outbound travel to the U.S. over the past year and discuss future potential challenges and opportunities.

New Shenyang and Xi’an Air Service

December saw the addition of flights to two non-stop China to LAX routes. China Southern Airlines’ Shenyang to Los Angeles route and Hainan Airlines’ Xi’an to Los Angeles route each added another 5 flights per week, bringing the overall weekly flight total to 105 and seat total to 30,000-plus.  Shenyang and Xi’an are now the 13th and 14th cities in mainland China from which travelers can fly nonstop to L.A.

US Embassy Tourism Roadshow in Xi’an

L.A. Tourism’s Beijing office cooperated with the US Embassy’s commercial service team to host three events in Xi’an to coincide with new direct air service launches including a luxury travel presentation for CITIC Bank’s high net worth clients.  In addition, two training sessions were conducted for over 100 travel trade professionals from northwest China to support in-depth L.A. travel product development in the region.

BrandUSA trainings

L.A. Tourism in Guangzhou and Shanghai participated in BrandUSA-led travel trade training sessions in Guangzhou, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Wenzhou, and Ningbo.  Presentations on Los Angeles and LAX were delivered to a total of 240 travel trade professionals in the five cities. Attendees were updated on destination products and offerings, air routes into LAX from China, the latest modernization projects, and shopping and dining facilities at LAX.

DISTA Travel roadshow in Nanning, Guangxi province

L.A. Tourism’s Guangzhou Office attended the DISTA roadshow in Nanning on Dec. 14, 2018. DISTA is one of the biggest U.S. wholesale tour package operators in Southern China, and over 200 travel agents from the province of Guangxi attended the event. Staff delivered a presentation on LAX's modernization projects, direct flights from Southern China to LAX and the Private Suites at LAX, as well as the latest destination highlights. L.A. Mini Products/Packages and L.A. Angels Academy 2.0, were also introduced at the event to better equip local travel trade with destination information.

In-house trainings in West China

The Chengdu Office conducted three in-house training events for CTour, Galaxy Tour and Renyou Travel. Staff members delivered a presentation on direct air service from China to LAX. L.A. Mini Products/Packages and L.A. Angels Academy 2.0, were also highlighted at the event to better equip local travel trade with resources on L.A. as a destination.