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. In 2016, the number of Chinese tourists to Los Angeles reached 1 million, marking a 21.9% increase from 2015 and making China the second-biggest source of international visitors to the city behind Mexico.
For younger generations of Chinese travelers, 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 travelers to better explore the city’s neighborhoods and discover local activities.
Dragon Trail’s social media team regularly promotes Los Angeles’ neighborhood-specific itineraries through articles published on social media platforms WeChat and Weibo. The post about the Westside region, for example, presented readers with a number of off-the-beaten-track activities, as well as local eateries and shops.
In order to make it easier for visitors to better visualize all points of interest throughout the different neighborhoods, Dragon Trail developed a city map for LATCB’s English website, Discover Los Angeles, and later localized it for Hellola.cn, its China-dedicated website. Because of the restrictions on accessing Google Maps in China, the map has been created in OpenStreetMap (OSM) technology, an open-license system that’s accessible in both countries.
Every district represented on the map has its own specific colors and fonts, selected to represent the neighborhoods’ distinctive characters. By zooming in on a specific neighborhood, users have the option 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.”
"The client partner relationship we have with Dragon Trail is second to none. Dragon Trail is an extension of our team in China. We have complete faith in their team from the top down. They truly understand our business goals and the state of the industry. It's a pleasure working with them." -Bill Karz Vice President, Digital Marketing Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board