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the review: trade show report

INTERVIEW Ernest Woode, CEO of Los Angeles Tourism, tells Selling Travel why L.A. is for food and sport lovers. What’s new in town? Los Angeles has established itself as a culinary capital - as evidenced by the city dominating the 2019 Michelin Guide California. We accounted for 18 of the 27 new restaurants with a onestar distinction, while six were awarded two-star status. Going forward, we plan to use these credentials to stimulate demand for food tours and culinary experiences. We also have some major sporting events coming up. The new Rams stadium, due to open in 2020, will host the 2022 Super Bowl. L.A. will also host the opening ceremony for the 2026 World Cup as well as the Olympics in 2028. How key is the UK market? L.A. is experiencing its eighth consecutive year of visitor growth. We’ve actually met our goal of 50,000 million visitors two years in advance! This year we’ve seen a 3% increase in UK arrivals and are expecting a subsequent increase in global visitation when we host the 2024 IPW conference. Brand USA is working hard to ensure that America is a must-see destination and I do believe that the U.S. as a whole will experience visitor growth, despite recent (poor) figures. How do you work with travel agents? We believe that travel agents are an extension of L.A. tourism and that is why we continue to assist the trade in selling with our robust educational programmes, of which we now have more than 5,000 graduates.

Food for thought


SHOW SHORTS Virginia Tourism Corporation has launched a campaign to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its ‘Virginia is for lovers’ slogan. The campaign will last until August 10 and features 1969-inspired meals at restaurants, bottled ‘lovers lagers’ and various programmes and events. The state also features heavily in the upcoming Wonder Woman movie, which is due for release in 2020.

The 2019 Michelin Guide California the first Michelin guide to focus on a specific region of the U.S. - was publicised during IPW in Anaheim at a ‘reveal event’ in Huntington Beach, and includes 90 Michelinstar eateries state-wide. Until this year, the guide only covered restaurants in the San Francisco Bay area but has now expanded to include Los Angeles, San Diego, Orange County, Santa Barbara, Monterey and Sacramento as well. Included is the world’s only twostar Mexican restaurant: Californios (Chef Val Cantu) in San Francisco, and the world’s only two-star Indian restaurant: Campton Place (Chef Srijith Gopinathan) also in San Francisco. The guide also features 24 restaurants in L.A. “The stars awarded to the world-class chefs and restaurants

across the state are a true testament to the diverse and creative culinary scene in California,” said Visit California President & CEO Caroline Beteta. “From three-star restaurants to hole-in-the-wall taco shops, California’s cuisine is fuelled by an abundance of freshness, a fearless attitude and an excitement for experimentation and innovation.” Visit California is also highlighting the state’s self-drive appeal as part of its ‘Road Trip Republic’ initiative. Visitors can choose from 50 road excursions including the popular Highway One and Route 66 to the lesser-known Modoc County and Wild North Coast. The initiative follows a 79% increase in international travellers choosing to embark on a road-trip.

The Colorado tourist board highlighted its Historic Hot Spring Loop at IPW. The trail includes five natural mineral hot spring spots as part of a 720-mile loop in the western part of the state. Clients can soak in relaxing baths at Glenwood Springs, considered the world’s largest mineral hot springs pool, as well as stopping off at Steamboat Springs, Ouray, Pagosa Springs and Chaffee County. hotspringsloop The next IPW will be held in the Las Vegas Convention Centre from May 30 to June 3, 2020.

Brand USA unites with new mobile content The latest United Stories campaign from Brand USA uses visual content to offer a first-person insight into the U.S. Created by locals, influencers and travellers alike, the short videos can be downloaded via a free app and will be used to inspire international travellers.

“In the last year we have hosted fam trips to all 50 states and continue to grow our toolkit with new content,” said Brand USA’s Christopher L. Thompson. “Our goal is to be the go-to channel for content featuring U.S. destinations.”

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Profile for BMI Publishing Ltd

Selling Travel July/August 2019  

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