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LA Tourism announces “NiHao China” marketing initiatives to further grow China visitation to Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism) announced the launch of “NiHao China,” an innovative, multi-pronged marketing strategy to maximize Chinese tourist visitation to Los Angeles, on Feb. 26, 2014 at the Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel.

Ernest Wooden Jr., President and CEO of LA Tourism and Dr. Xinjun Wang, CEO of Ivy Alliance Tourism Consulting, the company contracted by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) to implement the certification and assessment of Chinese outbound tourism operators, announced the initiatives at a media opportunity during the first of LA Tourism’s NiHao China training and certification program seminars.

NiHao China is a portfolio of international marketing, training and promotional initiatives to enhance the LA experience of Chinese travelers and grow LA’s market share of Chinese visitation. Los Angeles’ No. 1 overseas tourism market is China, and welcomed a record 570,000 Chinese visitors in 2013, a 21% increase over 2012.

“When I met with Chinese President Xi Jinping last spring in China, he told me that he expects 200 million Chinese travelers to depart on international trips by 2020, and that the Los Angeles - China relationship was the way of the future,” said Ernest Wooden Jr. “Our NiHao China program will bring the Los Angeles brand and all of our incredible attractions directly to aspiring Chinese international travelers, help prepare LA tourism and hospitality businesses to welcome them, and ensure they have the best possible experience in LA so they keep coming back.”

“This valuable program will greatly improve the travel experience for Chinese travelers visiting Los Angeles, and will make Los Angeles an even more attractive destination for Chinese visitors,” said Dr. Wang.

The NiHao China program addresses all of the critical audiences involved in Chinese tourism: Chinese travel trade, Chinese consumers, and Los Angeles attractions, hotels, shopping venues, and restaurants. This coordinated approach ensures that the unique needs of each audience are met in ways that are relevant and impactful. LA’s “NiHao China” programs include:

• The NiHao China Training Program - a custom-designed training program to help Los Angeles-area hotels, attractions and other tourism industry businesses best meet the cultural preferences of Chinese visitors. Upon completion of a series of seminars, businesses receive a certification from LA Tourism and the China National Tourism Administration to do business with Chinese travel companies.

• Tour Guide Training & Certification – training and curricula for tour guides to meet quality standards and train these ambassadors to effectively represent Los Angeles when serving Chinese tourists.

• shopLA – aims to build awareness among Chinese visitors of Los Angeles as a shopping Mecca. Chinese visitors are the second-highest spenders among overseas visitors, spending more than $450 million a year in Los Angeles, and shopping is their No. 1 activity while traveling. LA Tourism will promote shopLA on its Chinese-language “helloLA” website and to Chinese media and trade, and will produce 40,000 printed and digital Shop LA guidebooks for Chinese tourists. Participants in the Shop LA program include: Beverly Center; The Citadel; The Grove; Santa Monica Place; Santa Monica Promenade; Westfield Century City; Westfield Santa Anita; LAWA/LAX Westfield; and Hollywood & Highland.

• helloLA - Promoting LA in China via a new Chinese-language website and a Chinese-language version of LA’s Official Visitor Guide to promote Los Angeles as a leading travel destination directly to the Chinese travel trade, media, and consumers.

• Marketing Campaign in China - a new integrated consumer marketing campaign in China and a new comprehensive media campaign highlighting Los Angeles as a meetings and conventions destination.

In 2014, LA Tourism will continue to leverage its two tourism offices in China, in Shanghai and Beijing, to market the destination directly to travel trade professionals and individuals in China. LA is the only city with official tourism offices in China.

Los Angeles welcomed a record-breaking 42.2 million total visitors in 2013, the third consecutive record visitation year and is on track to reach 50 million visitors by 2020. In 2013, Los Angeles welcomed a record 6.2 million international visitors, and sold a record 27.2 million hotel room nights.

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