When it comes to connecting with the world’s largest tourism market, Los Angeles is best in class. Of the estimated 3.1 Chinese who traveled stateside in 2017, more than a third stopped in the Californian city. As 2018’s gloomy China tourism figures rolled in and revealed a 5.7 percent drop, L.A. bucked the trend with an uptick of seven percent.
From an iconic stroll along Venice Beach Boardwalk to taking a Hollywood studio tour, the city’s attractions are so famous that additional promotion might seem unnecessary, but Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board’s approach to China is anything but complacent. It joined Mayor Eric Garcetti’s trade mission to Asia last year, led a roadshow through four Chinese cities this spring, and has been pivotal in connecting the L.A. institutions with China’s digital payment platforms WeChat and Alipay.
For DMOs and cultural institutions, being attuned to key dates in the Chinese calendar is an essential way to connect. Golden Week, which celebrates the founding of the People’s Republic of China, has seen a range of L.A. destinations create special Chinese promotions for the occasion. Here are three strong examples;
Madame Tussauds Hollywood
Although L.A. is awash with celebrities, face-to-face meetings are hard to come by. A better bet is to head to the world’s most famous wax museum where singer Rihanna, media personality Kylie Jenner, and Bruce Lee are on display.
To celebrate Golden Week, the Hollywood venue has launched a $10 ticket discount (promo: GOLDEN10) for visitors between September 30 and October 1.
Peterson Automotive Museum
As any Angeleno will tell you, driving is integral to city life and there’s no better place to familiarize yourself with L.A’s car culture than this Museum Row institution.
For Golden Week, one of the world’s largest automotive museums offers Chinese visitors special tours and gifts for groups of 10 or more. There are additional ticket and merchandise discounts (accompanying translators receive free admission).
Following its stunning $500 million renovation, this quintessential Californian mall is set to welcome Chinese visitors with its collection of more than 100 high-end boutiques offering the ultimate luxury experience.
The eight-floor shopping center in the heart of Hollywood’s Film Studio Zone has long connected with Chinese visitors online and offline. It hosts Chinese cultural celebrations, such as Chinese Lunar New Year, and is also present on China social media channels WeChat and Weibo. Its Golden Week initiative offers shoppers who spend $500 a red packet which can be redeemed at the concierge desk.
Words by Richard Whiddington