Supercharging Tourism in Los Angeles

angels flightCan one policy really benefit thousands of working Angelenos, the City of Los Angeles and its hotels? That’s the ambitious goal of Destination LA, a unique and innovative partnership of business, community, labor and environmental leaders working to implement a vision for the Los Angeles tourism industry. Destination LA partners believe that L.A. can be a thriving world-class tourist destination that paves the way to prosperity for the city, the industry and thousands of working families.

As L.A.’s largest employer, the tourism industry is in a key position to act as the driving force behind an economic recovery for the city. A motion was introduced April 3 in the L.A. City Council asking city departments for studies on creating economic incentives, including public benefits, to help strengthen the tourism industry in Los Angeles by investing in both the workforce, through living wages, and in facilities by “greening” hotels and providing them with funds to renovate their facilities.

Tourism nationally is on an upswing, which means that cities such as San Diego, San Francisco and New York, among others, are vying for the 27 million visitors Los Angeles drew last year. In order to remain competitive and keep attracting a high volume of tourists, L.A. hotels must invest in renovations and upgrades. As Los Angeles begins to capture more tourist dollars, and the industry continues to thrive, thousands of hotel workers and their families will also benefit.

maria loyaWhile cities across the country rebound from record-high unemployment and people begin to travel more frequently, Los Angeles is in a prime position to offer a world-class experience to tourists. The Destination LA partnership is primed to transform one of L.A.’s largest industries – who’s with us?

Maria Loya
The Frying Pan 


  1. JoeWeinstein says

    Beware when government is allowed to favor one or two special sectors as a panacea for local prosperity – and as a result commits public funds and debt – not unlimited in capacity – to alleged winners.  Especially when the special sectors are like tourism – which focuses not on what local people need or would especially benefit from or are specially skilled at doing, but rather on pleasing and enticing temporary outsiders.  We have a sad history in California of localities playing beggar-thy-neighbor for sales tax revenues and for tourists. 

    A decade or so ago UCLA put forth a study ‘Banking on Blight’ which exposed the hijinks and deceptions of this approach (and other ‘redevelopment’ schemes)  – and in particular what happens – as here in Long Beach – when public funds are invested less in infrastructure and improvements essential and beneficial for the local residents and their life quality and more in glitz projects designed to cash in on alleged potential tourism.  To compound the problems: beyond the limited number of short-term construction jobs, tourism provides mainly minimum- and near-minimum-wage jobs.  That’s OK if your goal is merely to have ‘jobs’ at whatever level of pay; it’s not so great (absent iffy future breakthru permanent successes in the author’s own activist program) if you moreover want those jobs to be true life support and engines of worker prosperity.   

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