West Hollywood rolls out tourism project

The West Hollywood Convention & Visitors Bureau (WHCVB), West Hollywood’s official tourism marketing office, has embarked on three large-scale strategic and infrastructure projects, totaling over more than a 1/4 of a million dollars. The major projects are threefold; a Branding Study, Economic Impact Study, and New Web Site - all of which will collectively enable West Hollywood to better understand, position and communicate to its markets and maintain its reputation as a prime West Coast destination for corporate, leisure, meetings and group business.

The two studies aimed at analyzing and improving tourism through the evaluation of the City of West Hollywood’s growing and changing community will address key aspects of the visitor experience and that visitor’s impact, while the website improvements will serve as a resource for motivating the traveler to book West Hollywood.

The initiatives are timely for the West Hollywood CVB due to upcoming opportunities to position West Hollywood internationally with cooperative programs presented by such entities as the California Travel & Tourism Commission (CTTC). The new visitor information and brand positioning will provide the WHCVB with a strong platform when partnering with the CTTC. The CTTC has received an increased budget allocation of $50 million for the next fiscal year through a new assessment on rental cars. The CTTC, the state’s official tourism marketing organization, will provide local CVBs such as West Hollywood, co-operative opportunities to reach the international visitor in efforts to promote California as a premier international travel destination in the ‘06-‘07 fiscal year.

BRANDING STUDY

Dailey Advertising, a West Hollywood-based, leading West-Coast advertising agency, whose past clients include Tourism Australia, Legoland and Princess Cruises has been contracted to carry out the WHCVB’s branding study through its signature brand consulting arm, DaileyLAB. The study which began in early June 2006 will help brand positioning for West Hollywood. “West Hollywood has many wonderful attributes, and a distinctive personality. Our goal with this project is to synthesize all aspects of the city into a deeper, more meaningful strategic platform which will ring true for residents, visitors, business owners, and investors,” says Mike Perdigao, Executive Vice President & Managing Director at Dailey.

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Dailey will conduct extensive research including an overall analysis of visitor and stakeholder perceptions, the city’s strengths, weaknesses, and competitive stance in the tourism field. They will meet with key West Hollywood groups such as residents, business owners and investors, among others, in one-on-one, group and phone interviews to inquire about each individuals’ perception. This survey method will be the basis for Dailey’s brand strategy for the destination. v

The final stage of the branding study, which will conclude in late Fall 2006, will include the development of a brand strategy, which will guide the WHCVB, the travel and tourism community and its stakeholders toward a new direction that will impact the organization’s programming, marketing and outlook for years to come.

ECONOMIC IMPACT STUDY

Lauren Schlau Consulting (LSC), a Los Angeles-based market research and consulting firm, whose past clients include the California Tourism Office, Universal Studios Hollywood and the Queensland Travel and Tourism Corporation (Australia), has been contracted to conduct West Hollywood’s latest Economic Impact Study (EIS). The study is aimed at analyzing the traits, habits and impacts of travelers who choose West Hollywood as their destination. The EIS will provide the WHCVB information about a travelers’ average length of stay, lodging type, group size, visitor activities such as food and beverage choices, and on a broader spectrum, the annual number of visitors and groups visiting per year. This invaluable demographic information about the travel habits of its visitors will provide important tourism research which will serve as the basis for new marketing strategies, new outreach methods and improved communications to those groups.

Because the EIS also aims to valuate a visitor’s economic impact on the city, important hotel performance figures including hotel occupancy, average daily rate and room taxes generated within West Hollywood will be researched, compiled and presented. “In order to obtain a successful and accurate outcome for the study, the hotel information is a crucial part of the overall picture,” says Lauren Schlau.

The study is set to be completed in April ‘07. Summary copies of the study will be made available upon request

NEW WEB SITE

The WHCVB has hired Aristotle, a full service website and interactive multimedia design, consulting and marketing firm based in Little Rock, AR, to completely re-vamp design and content, including copy, images, features and visitor tools on Visitwesthollywood.com, the Bureau’s travel and tourism website. The site registers an average of 14,000 unique visits per month. Visitors can expect a more comprehensive listings of hotels, restaurants, clubs, dining, and shopping options in the West Hollywood area, along with a new design aesthetic, meeting and event planner assistance forms, visitor inquiry forms and media room with updated image gallery capabilities, an event calendar, the Bureau’s publication “OnePointNine” and some added features, such as RSS feeds (a web technology that allows subscribers to receive updates and “desktop alerts” from their favorite sites).

Visitwesthollywood.com will continue to host Advance Reservations Systems, Inc., (ARES), an online reservations and booking engine tied directly to the travel global distribution systems (GDS) systems that West Hollywood hotels supply inventory to, allowing visitors to directly book room reservations and purchase admission to attractions like Universal Studios and Disneyland, directly through the web site and at comparable rates offered on other online travel sites.

The new Visitwesthollywood.com will launch in early December 2006.

The West Hollywood Convention & Visitors Bureau is a 501-C-6 non-profit organization dedicated to enhancing the economic vitality of West Hollywood through the marketing of the City of West Hollywood as a premier travel and lifestyle destination.
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