Amid Concerns of Declining Tourism as ‘Anti-Welcome’ Sentiment Grows, L.A. Is Welcoming Everyone for a Visit

A new campaign for Discover Los Angeles

Discover Los Angeles hopes to boost tourism numbers this year.
Vimeo: discoverLA

Outside of being a city for dreamers and stars, Los Angeles is also home to people from over 140 countries who speak some 224 languages. Essentially, the city is an open one that’s welcoming to everyone.

That’s the message tourism group Discover Los Angeles is trying to drive home in its latest #EveryoneIsWelcome campaign, especially considering some of the challenges the city may soon be facing.

According to recent data from independent research partner Tourism Economics, L.A. County could lose over 800,000 international visitors in the next three years. That could lead to a loss of $736 million loss in direct spending by tourists for the city, buoyed mostly by a growing “anti-welcome” sentiment in the U.S., according to Discover Los Angeles. “We felt compelled that we had to do something about this to try and mitigate these losses,” Don Skeoch, CMO of Discover Los Angeles said.

Discover Los Angeles created the spot in-house and worked with L.A.-based agency Mistress’ production arm, Bastard, to produce the spot.

Discover Los Angeles wanted to target two specific groups with the campaign: local residents and travelers specifically from Canada, Mexico, Australia, the U.K. and China.

The work will run on local L.A. channels to “reinforce why there is a tremendous amount of pride here in Los Angeles about being such a diverse, open and welcoming market,” Skeoch said.

At least half of the people starring in the ad are part of the city’s creative community. Layla Shaikley, for example, created the term “mipsterz” or the #mipster movement to describe a community of Muslim hipsters in the area. The ad also features six pieces of street art from local artists, including a piece from Shepard Fairey.

“We have to be true to who Los Angeles is, and we did not want this spot to come off as overtly commercial or overtly emotional,” Skeoch said. “We want it to be viewed as very authentic, genuine and sincere.”