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If you are coming to Phocuswright in L.A. this week watch out for an unnoticed earthquake rocking the local hospitality scene

11/12/2018

Earthquakes in Los Angeles are not infrequent, only in April this year a quake in a nearby city rocked buildings in downtown L.A. area. But not everyone seems to have noticed the silent earthquake that took place in this destination’s hospitality industry recently.

If you are attending the Phocuswright Conference in Los Angeles this week – held in the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. LIVE in the downtown district from Tuesday to Thursday – you might notice that Chinese travelers have become the number one international visitor. According to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, 1.12 million Chinese tourists visited L.A. in 2017.

This makes the destination the first ever US city to exceed 1 million tourists a year from China – and therefore probably the most popular destination in America for Chinese tourists. Just as importantly, Chinese visitors spent an average of 7.2 nights in what is also referred to as the City of Angels – this is not a short-break or multi-city destination for them. 

As a hospitality center, needless to say Los Angeles ranks on a global scale. Precisely 1,023 hotels with a capacity for 102,338 rooms helped the city to welcome 48.3 million visitors in 2017.

So how do travellers choose a hotel from the over one thousand on offer? How do they make sure their activities fulfill their needs and budget? To answer those questions for our clients, Hotelbeds is loaded with information on things to do, great places to stay and more. Hotelbeds will demonstrate our solution in hotel distribution at Phocuswright conference this week in Los Angeles.

What comes to your mind when you think of Los Angeles? From the beautiful weather, star-studded Beverly Hills, the iconic landmark Hollywood sign, amusement parks, and recreational beaches, to the various museums and exhibitions, it's a dynamic city worth a visit.

In this respect, Chinese travellers are just like those visiting from so many other countries. They’ve seen the films and TV shows featuring the city and want to enjoy the tons of fun stuff to do and see, delicious treats to eat and drink, and comfortable hotels to stay in and experience.

With over 170,000 hotels in our portfolio, including many in and around the Los Angeles area, Hotelbeds is dedicated to provide high quality service and local insights to clients. So whether your clients are traveling for business or leisure, after a 12 hours trek from China to Los Angeles we are sure we have the answer to a happy trip for them.

The city is constantly evolving and expanding. Currently 45 hotel projects are under development, which will deliver more than 9,500 rooms to area by 2020. But even at that rate of growth, will it keep up with demand?

It will be interesting to note if the new openings will be planned with Chinese audiences in mind. Successfully attracting Chinese travellers is not just about having Chinese language speakers or even food options. It extends to understanding the search engines they use, the different reservation needs and booking processes, preferred payment options, the configuration and features of a room, and so much more.

It might seem a cliché, but this week at Phocuswright ask at your hotel if you can pay using Alipay or WeChat. If you can then it might be a good sign that local hospitality sector has begun to recognize its number one international customer.

Jiarui Li

Wholesale Strategic Key Account Manager, China