Los Angeles Tourism opens first office in India to woo luxury millennial travellers

  • The office will focus on driving travel aspiration and motivate Indian visitors to increase length of stay
  • The office will work with the travel trade to develop customised and tailored product itineraries in line with consumer and travel trade interests

Saumya Tewari
Updated18 Nov 2019
Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

Sunny Southern California is calling Indian millennials who love to live the jet set life. Leveraging the burgeoning Indian millennial segment that is increasingly looking at offbeat travelling destinations, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board opened its first tourism office in India, located in Mumbai. The office will focus on driving travel aspiration and motivate Indian visitors to increase length of stay and spend in Los Angeles. The office will work with the travel trade to develop customised and tailored product itineraries in line with consumer and travel trade interests.

Encouraged by growth indicators in India – especially the growing outbound travel segment – Los Angeles Tourism’s latest visitation forecast projects a year-over-year growth of 4.4% in 2019 with 1,35,000 Indian visitors. Indian visitation to Los Angeles is expected to grow by a year-over-year average of 5% over the next five years with nearly 1,65,000 Indian travelers estimated to visit by 2023.

“We target high-end luxury travellers belonging to SEC A segment in India. Our marketing promotions are only on digital and social media platforms because we are trying to convince millennials between 18 to 40 years. Our focus has also shifted from independent travellers to family travellers as well,” said Don Skeoch, chief marketing officer, Los Angeles Tourism.

The tourism board has also appointed Seema Kadam as its first regional director for India. In terms of spends by foreign tourists, the Indian outbound travel market offers immense potential with India being the fifth largest foreign exchange generator for the US at (USD15.8bn), after China (USD36.4bn), Canada (USD22.1bn), Mexico (USD21.1bn) and Japan (USD16bn).

In order to create awareness and higher recall about the destination, the tourism board has been running an advertising campaign ‘Everyone is welcome’ featuring Bollywood influencers such as Malaika Arora, Sonam Kapoor and husband Anand Ahuja, Los Angeles Tourism is looking at launching yet another influencer advocacy campaign in the coming months.

“We will evolve the same campaign however we will include faces and places at Los Angeles with the tagline everyone is welcome. This would launch in January. Since the response to our campaign was so strong we will use a goodwill ambassador every year. We have seven major motion picture studios and many Bollywood celebrities would benefit to associate with us because it will also give them exposure as well,” added Skeoch.

Known for its movie studios such as Universal Studios, Warners Brothers Studio, Hollywood Walk of Fame, the tourism board will tweak its strategy to start promoting its varied culinary experiences as well as booming fusion foods culture. LA boasts of 32 Michelin rated restaurants. Apart from food experiences, Los Angeles Tourism will also be pitching the destination to sports lovers as it looks to host Superbowl 2022 and Summer Olympics in 2028.

“Indian travellers love to try new things and therefore we have decided to promote the culinary as well as sports related experiences to them,” said Skeoch.

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