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Valley Focus | Valleywide

Wachs Seeks Higher Profile for Tourism

April 08, 1998|SYLVIA L. OLIANDE

Making good on a promise to seek funding for a new Valley tourism bureau, City Councilman Joel Wachs introduced a motion Tuesday that asks city staff to find a way to increase promotion of Valley locations to visitors.

At the heart of the issue is whether the Valley receives its fair share of the promotion and attention from the city-sanctioned Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Valley business leaders said it doesn't, citing several points of interest that are not listed in official tourism brochures.

Wachs wants the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau and the newly revived San Fernando Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau to work together to solve the problem, said Michelle Namen, the councilman's legislative deputy.

"He would like to see the San Fernando Valley see increased promotion of tourism," she said. "They [the official city bureau] are getting better, but in the past they haven't given the Valley much attention."

The Los Angeles bureau historically has promoted Hollywood, the beaches and the downtown area, while sights in the Valley are largely ignored, Namen said.

Wachs' motion cites local points of interest that deserve attention, including the San Fernando Mission, the Japanese Gardens in the Sepulveda Basin, the North Hollywood Arts District and Universal CityWalk.

Transient occupancy taxes may be reverted to the new Valley-based bureau to allow it to advertise local sights on its own, Namen said, or the Los Angeles bureau may focus more attention on the Valley, without dividing the funds.

At its meeting on Tuesday, the council is expected to review the motion and decide whether to ask staff to meet with the bureaus to develop a plan.

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