Los Angeles has long promoted itself as a tourist destination in China and was the first city in the world to open a tourism office in the country in 2006. Chinese tourists to Los Angeles County increased to reach 780,000 visits in 2015, up by 13% from 2014, and spending more than USD $1 billion.
For younger generations of Chinese travellers engaging with local culture is just as important as shopping and sightseeing. With more than 90% of Chinese outbound tourism being urban focused, LATCB works closely with Dragon Trail to develop content and digital solutions to allow Chinese travellers to better explore the city’s neighbourhoods and discover local activities.
Dragon Trail’s social media team regularly promotes Los Angeles’ neighbourhood specific itineraries through articles published on social media WeChat and Weibo. In a post about the Westside region, the editor presents a few less well known activities as well as local eateries and shops.
In order to make it easier for visitors to better visualise all points of interest throughout the different neighbourhoods, Dragon Trail Interactive developed a city map for LATCB’s English website Discover Los Angeles and later localised it for Hellola.cn, its China dedicated website. Because of the restrictions on accessing Google Map in China, the map has been created in OpenStreetMap (OSM) technology, an open license system compatible with both countries.
Every district represented on the map has its own specific colours and fonts selected to reinforce the neighborhoods’ distinctive characters. By zooming into a specific neighborhood, users are promoted to watch a short video or read a brief introduction to the area. Neighborhood attractions and hotels are clearly marked on the map, and visitors can easily book their stay in a few steps.
In recognition of the map’s innovative design and concept, Discover Los Angeles’ website was nominated as one of “The 25 Best Tourism Websites in the World in 2016” by online travel media Skift: “This website has a great map with in depth descriptions of each neighborhood to direct visitors through the city. The map also supports the groovy Get Lost In L.A. campaign designed to inspire visitors to explore neighborhoods beyond the iconic attractions.”