LA promotes big-ticket events

Los Angeles has been making a lot of noise this year, what with its 100th anniversary of the Hollywood Sign and some big-ticket events it will be hosting in the next couple of years. Seema Kadam, Regional Director, Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board in India, gives TRAVTALK the bigger picture of the destination.

Hazel Jain

The only Destination Marketing Organisation (DMO) among all US destinations to have an office in India, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is seeing great numbers from India despite the visa challenges. Seema Kadam, Regional Director, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board in India, says that India was in the top 10 international source markets in 2023 for Los Angeles. “We received about 130,000 arrivals from India in 2023, and with the soon-to-start non-stop flight services from India to Los Angeles on Air India in the winter schedule of 2024-25, we are expecting this number is go up. So, India is slowly getting there.”

Kadam adds that while the city mainly receives FIT and groups, M!CE segment is also something that has potential for LA. “We have a lot of repeat travellers from India. The messaging is Los Angeles as LA 2.0 because we have a lot of new things lined up. We just celebrated the Hollywood Sign centennial in December 2023 in style with an evening event for the travel trade in Mumbai. We continue to celebrate this milestone as it has managed to generate a lot of buzz around it. Besides, we have big-ticket events lined up. LA will be the host city for eight matches of the FIFA opening games for Men’s Open in 2026, Super Bowl in 2027, and the Olympics in 2028,” she shares.

LA is also the entertainment capital with music concerts from big artists, Oscars and, of course, the Grammys. “We have more reasons for people to come and explore the destination. We are also the host city for IPW 2024, which is a global trade event that sees buyers from across international global markets. There are 27 trade buyers from India attending this show this year,” Kadam says.

Making a suggestion for the travel agents, Kadam adds that four nights in an itinerary are great for LA, combining it with Vegas, San Fransisco, and San Diego. The NTO has an agent specialist programme called ‘LA Insider’, which is being updated and will be released shortly. Visiting India was Andrea Blackman, International Sales Manager at Universal Studios Hollywood, which also celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Universal Studio Tour. She was in India to meet key trade members in Mumbai and Delhi. She says, “We are ready for the India market. We see a lot of potential in this market; India is in the top 10 markets in the Asia Pacific region and with numbers climbing up, it ranges in top 5-6 positions in the region.”

The studio tour includes the movie studio and theme park, including Harry Potter. “It is perfect for multi-generation traveller groups. They need to keep a minimum of one entire day at Universal Studios or split it over two days. Fortunately, we have a ‘Buy a day, get a day free’ offer. We also have a mobile app that travel agents can use for more information on food, wait times, distance, etc. There is also a shopping outlet called Citadel. Agents can get the ‘Hollywood Plus’ pass for their clients, which is offered exclusively to the trade and includes many attractions. It can be bought from one of our authorised wholesale agents in India,” Blackman shares.

Upcoming events

  • LA is proud to be hosting the opening Men’s National team FIFA match
  • The city is gearing up for the Olympic and Paralympic games in 2028
  • It will host major art events like PST Art
  • The city will see the opening of Destination Crenshaw – a $100mn outdoor art and culture experience

 

 

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