Video: L.A. Sends Out A Message Of Inclusivity With "Everyone Is Welcome" Tourism Campaign
Unless you've been holed up in a cave somewhere, you may have noticed that an atmosphere of exclusion has overtaken much of the nation; the clearest sign of which, of course, are the travel bans that President Trump has attempted to put in place.
L.A. is not having any of that, and the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board would like the rest of the world to know. As noted at the L.A. Times, Discover Los Angeles (in charge of marketing L.A. as a travel destination) has launched an ad campaign that's dubbed "Everyone is welcome." The campaign is backed with the hashtag #EveryoneIsWelcome and a feel-good video that touts the diversity of our fair city. The video (set against the song “Real Love Baby” by crystal stealer Father John Misty) uses the motif of a wayward paper plane, which glides through the city, passing by people of different ethnic backgrounds, religious beliefs, and orientation. While the gambit sounds straight-forward, the execution is tricky; whereas the video could have come off as hokey, it's actually an uplifting minute-and-half that encapsulates the sunnier side of Los Angeles.
According to tourism officials, the ad is about selling the feel and spirit of Los Angeles, less so about the city itself. “Following in-depth focus groups in nine of our key global markets, one point became clear: the feel of Los Angeles has an inexorable pull on visitors. They are interested in all of the things they can do in the city, but to them, L.A. is first and foremost about a lifestyle and a feeling,” Don Skeoch, chief marketing officer for Discover Los Angeles, said in a statement.
The video was rolled out on Discover Los Angeles' Twitter. It's also expected to be unveiled in social outlets in Mexico, China, Canada, Britain, and Australia.
There's no explicit mention that the ad is a direct pushback against Trump's travel policies, but the prevailing message takes a clear stance. “Diversity and inclusivity have always been cornerstones of Los Angeles culture, but there has never been a more crucial time to reinforce these points,” Ernest Wooden Jr., chief executive of Discover Los Angeles, told the Times.
The ad comes amid an upward trend in tourism for Los Angeles. Earlier this year, it was announced that L.A. County had hit a record number of visitors for the sixth straight year. In 2016, 47.3 million visitors had touched ground in the county, nearly a 4% boost from 2015. About 40 million had come from other states, while approximately 7 million came from overseas. Mexico and China were home to the most L.A.-bound travelers. Also of note, L.A. became the first U.S. city to draw more than 1 million visitors from China.
While there's no clear evidence that the recent atmosphere of exclusion is damaging tourism in L.A., a recent survey said that 37% of U.S. travel managers believe that Trump's latest proposed ban will lower tourism figures, notes the Times.