Los Angeles has become the first American city to open a tourism office in India in a bid to attract more desi visitors. According to Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, Indians are the fourth largest visitors to the region (in terms of nationality). LA expects 1.35 lakh Indian visitors in 2019, up 4.4% from last year, and has set a target of 1.65 lakh Indian visitors in 2023.
Another reason to woo desi travellers is that they are big spenders. “In terms of spends by foreign tourists, the Indian outbound travel market offers immense potential with India being fifth largest foreign exchange generator for the US $15.8 billion, after China at $36.4 billion. The LA Tourism office has opened in Mumbai.
“Targeted trade and consumer efforts have helped established a distinct and relatable identity for LA among Indian travellers and this new office will strengthen our presence and interaction with the local community. We are optimistic that the strong foundation we have laid in the country will help us achieve our targets in the years ahead,” said LA Tourism president and CEO Ernest Wooden Jr.
The newly opened office will focus on “driving travel aspiration and motivate Indian visitors to increase length of stay and spend in LA.” Seema Kadam will be LA Tourism’s first regional director for India. The office will also develop and support any new air service to Los Angeles International Airport.