March 16, 2013 |
Just before sunrise, a hardy band of men and women gathered near a barley field in the remote San Luis Valley to await the dawn. Some fiddled with their cameras while others nervously scanned the cold, empty sky. As golden sunlight broke over the mountains, a distant trumpeting filled the air. Thousands of primeval-looking birds with long necks and dagger-like beaks appeared overhead. Their numbers were staggering, the noise deafening. As they spiraled raucously down onto the field, cameras fired from every direction.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 16, 2013 |
BORREGO SPRINGS, Calif. - Locals call it "The Miracle of March. " If spring rains and temperatures are just right, the forbidding mountains and parched badlands here are transformed into dazzling panoramas of wildflowers that draw thousands of tourists. The crowds provide a major boost to Borrego Springs, a community of about 3,500 permanent residents in the heart of 640,000-acre Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. When blossoms abound - every five to seven years or so - visitors spend freely on gasoline, groceries, souvenirs, sun hats and cold drinks as they seek directions to "flower hot spots.
March 12, 2013 |
A bright spot in the local economy - tourism - continues to generate big numbers for Los Angeles County's hotels, restaurants and other hospitality businesses. Tourists spent $16.4 billion in 2012, most of it on lodging, food and drinks, according to a study commissioned by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. By comparison, the group said, tourists spent $15.4 billion in 2011. Tourism last year also generated more than $2 billion in state and local taxes, according to the study by Los Angeles economics research firm Micronomics.
March 11, 2013 |
A bright spot in the local economy -- tourism -- continues to generate big numbers for the region's beleaguered businesses. Tourists spent $16.4 billion in 2012, most of it on hotels and restaurants, according to a study commissioned by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. By comparison, the agency said, tourists spent $15.4 billion in 2011. Tourism last year also generated more than $2 billion in state and local taxes, the study said. The study, completed by Micronomics, an economics research and consulting firm from Los Angeles, also concluded that tourism helped support nearly 230,000 jobs last year.
February 28, 2013 |
Peek.com , a new site that helps tourists find and book activities, has added Los Angeles in its latest expansion. The site is trying to do for tourist activities what Expedia.com does for booking flights and hotels. The site went live in parts of California and Hawaii in October, but it added results for Los Angeles this week. Users traveling to Los Angeles or residents who are simply looking for something to do can go to the site and search for nightlife, sightseeing tours, restaurants, or arts and culture activities.
February 27, 2013 |
The rate of foreign tourists visiting Los Angeles continues to grow, and local businesses are changing to better serve big-spending international vacationers. The city welcomed 41.4 million last year, surpassing the previous record of 40.4 million 2011, according to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. About 15% of those visitors are foreign tourists. In response to such growth, a hotel in San Gabriel has changed its menu to serve traditional Chinese breakfast items, and an outlet mall in Commerce distributes store directories in nine languages.
February 22, 2013 |
“We are in a fantastic place.” John Severini, the president and chief executive of the California Travel Assn., might have been talking about the state (and he did) but he was also talking about the outlook for travel agents and other travel providers. They were his audience Friday for his keynote address at the Trade Day part of the Los Angeles Times Travel Show. The show continues for the public on Saturday and Sunday. Severini was optimistic about the state of the industry, saying he expected a “pretty good year” for travel agents and travel providers.
February 22, 2013 |
The U.S. continues to be a hot destination for big-spending tourists, setting a new record of $168.1 billion in foreign visitor spending in 2012. The country last year welcomed 66 million foreign visitors, whose spending represents a 10% increase over 2011, said Rebecca Blank, deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. The greatest increase in visitors and spending came from countries with a burgeoning middle class, including China, Brazil and India. Spending by foreign tourists has been on the rise for the last three years, with tourist hubs such as Los Angeles, Las Vegas, New York and San Francisco reaping much of the spending, Blank said.
February 21, 2013 |
The low-profile Downey company that is buying the aging landmark Trump Plaza hotel and casino in Atlantic City, N.J., for a bargain-basement $20 million is scrambling to improve the place and obtain a gaming license in time for the warm-weather tourist season, a company executive said. The Meruelo Group, which got its start selling pizzas in Latino neighborhoods in Southern California, has expanded into numerous businesses, including construction, engineering, real estate and private equity.
February 17, 2013
For tourist information about foreign destinations, contact the government offices below. Several no longer list phone numbers, so information is available only through their websites. For information about a country not listed, call the United Nations at (212) 963-1234, dial 0 and ask for the number of the country's U.N. mission or delegation. The Tourism Offices Worldwide Directory, http://www.towd.com , is a helpful website. Anguilla: Anguilla Tourist Board, (877) 426-4845, http://www.ivisitanguilla.com.