Diverse LA seeks to counter reaction to Trump’s travel ban

Los Angeles’ tourism organisation is highlighting the city’s diversity in a global promotion designed to counteract US president Donald Trump’s travel restrictions.

The move by Discover Los Angeles comes as independent research partner Tourism Economics warned of a potential three-year loss of 800,000 international visitors due to a perceived anti-welcome sentiment.

These travellers typically spend $920 each while in the Californian city, totalling a potential loss of $736 million in direct tourism spending.

This loss would be “significant for local businesses and families employed by the hospitality industry, which is one of the largest and healthiest job sectors in L.A. County,” the destination marketing body said.

The global initiative aims to reinforce a message to visitors that #everyoneiswelcome and features a video released on social media channels using a visual metaphor of paper planes, “embodying patterns emblematic of countries around the world, which ‘fly’ into Los Angeles”.

Set to the soundtrack of Los Angeles-local Father John Misty’s song, Real Love Baby, the film takes viewers on a journey through the streets and shores of the city.

The video features Layla Shaikely, creator of the #mipsterz (Muslim hipsters) trend; cameos of street art by Shepard Fairey; and Madonna’s choreographer Megan Lawson and dancer, Jo’Artis Ratti (Big Mijo).

Half of the cast for the video are locals who were plucked off the streets in real-time.

Discover Los Angeles president and CEO Ernest Wooden Jr said: “Diversity and inclusivity have always been cornerstones of Los Angeles culture, but there has never been a more crucial time to reinforce these points.

“As one of the planet’s most diverse metro areas with residents hailing from 140 countries who speak more than 224 different languages, Los Angeles is uniquely poised to launch such a campaign.”

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