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 16, 2013 |
NEW DELHI, India - The gang rape of a 39-year-old Swiss tourist while on a camping trip with her husband has further ratcheted up the spotlight on sexual violence in India. The woman, who had been cycling with her husband in impoverished Madhya Pradesh state in central India, was attacked by at least seven men while the couple were camping for the night, police said Saturday. The assailants also robbed the couple of $180 and a cellphone. The attack comes at a sensitive time for India.
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 26, 2013 |
Is Mexico safe? That's the question that gets a lot of media attention. When six tourists from Spain were raped earlier this month in Acapulco, speculation began anew. But the tourism board in Cancun, 1,200 miles away and in a state for which the U.S. State Department has no advisory, wants the public to feel safe about visiting that region of the country, especially with the spring break vacation period looming. About 45,000 people visit during the spring travel season. “Last year Cancun welcomed almost 4 million visitors, and while none of our tourists were victims of violent crimes, we understand that safety is always a concern when traveling to a foreign country,” said Jesus Almagauer, chief executive of Cancun Convention & Visitors Bureau.
February 26, 2013 |
CAIRO -- A hot-air balloon exploded over the ancient city of Luxor on Tuesday, killing at least 18 people and adding fresh turmoil to Egypt's beleaguered tourism industry, which has been struggling since the overthrow of Hosni Mubarak two years ago. Authorities said the balloon was drifting at about 1,000 feet when it caught fire and the basket plummeted into sugar cane fields outside a village shortly after dawn. Officials said the dead included nine passengers from Hong Kong, four from Japan, two from France, two from Britain and one from Belgium.
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.