Los Angeles rolls out welcome mat for Asian corporates


Spurred by increased connectivity and expanding attractions, Los Angeles is ready to welcome more corporate groups and events from Asia, with Singapore being a key target market.

At a trade networking session in Singapore, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board’s regional director, Oceania & South-east Asia, Craig Gibbons, revealed that the event was the first of such trade outreach efforts in the market, with plans to return “two to three more times”.

Los Angeles wants MICE visitors from Asia, with Singapore being a key market

Sheena Yu, its destination sales director, Asia Pacific, added that MICE demand from Asia for Los Angeles has been on the rise. “We definitely see this market growing dramatically for incentives, events and meetings. Last year, we hosted the Million Dollar Round Table conference for more than 2,000 attendees from South-east Asia,” she shared.

Other Asian groups that have chosen to host incentives and conferences in Los Angeles include AIA and Amway. Yu added: “More corporate events are now looking for that ‘wow’ factor, and Los Angeles has many unique venues that can provide that.”

For instance, the Million Dollar Round Table, a finance and insurance group, was hosted at the LA Reserve, a historical bank transformed into an events venue. The space was dressed to resemble the early 1900s, and for the welcome ceremony and gala dinner, the large vault in the basement was converted into a ballroom for more than 750 pax.

Many city museums – Los Angeles holds the record for the most number museums in the US – can also be booked and transformed into event venues.

Yu also shared that the Los Angeles Tourism MICE team has made special arrangements for delegates, such as allowing them to flash their event badge at local merchants around the city for discounts.

She said: “We have more than 150 staff in our team. Los Angeles Tourism is going to put more effort into this market and support meeting planners to bring more business into Los Angeles.”

The MICE landscape in the destination is set to flourish, with several new points of interest slated to come online in the coming years. These include The Academy Museum in 2020; the Los Angeles Stadium, which will open in 2020 and host the 2022 Super Bowl; 30 new hotels in the next four years; as well as new and expanded airport terminals before the 2028 Summer Olympic Games.

Despite global political tensions, Los Angeles remains optimistic about its appeal to international travellers.

Gibbbons said: “Our tagline for Los Angeles is, ‘everyone is welcome’. We are the most culturally diverse city in the US where there isn’t a majority ethnicity. California really sets itself apart from what may be happening on the East Coast in terms of politics.”

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