L.A. Welcomes Everyone With A Message of Hope | Kind Traveler

L.A. Welcomes Everyone With A Message of Hope

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Los Angeles shines a light on its #EveryoneIsWelcome initiative to inspire a message of wonder and willingness to accept everyone with open arms. 

As an epicenter of dreamers and doers, Los Angeles is a mecca of diversity representing people from more than 180 countries, speaking 140 different identified languages. Its indiscriminate, multiethnic population distinguishes the city as the cultural hub of the Pacific Rim. From Koreatown, Little Tokyo, Thai Town, Little Armenia, Little Ethiopia, and historic Filipinotown,

along with more Mexicans outside of Mexico than any other city, it’s possible to experience an inspiring cultural scene that keep L.A.’s heart glowing. To take its cultural richness even further, you could spend almost every weekend for one year visiting a different museum and theatre. 

Arts District Wall Mural

Confession: I have a huge heart for Koreatown and its wellness scene. The Korean spas make for an ultimate prescription for soul revival. A spa day followed by a trip to Beverly Soon Tofu House is one of my favorite ‘LA moments’ (don’t miss the red tofu soup and the stone plate bibimbap (both veggie)). 

With L.A.’s soul anchored in celebrating diversity, it became increasingly important for the city to instill its message of inclusiveness and love to all who visit upon startling data recently released. 

The perception of an ‘anti-welcome’ sentiment appears to be taking a toll.

Tourism Economics, an independent research partner re-evaluated Discover Los Angeles’ forecast (the city’s official destination marketing organization) and projected that L.A. County could suffer a potential three-year loss of 800,000 international visitors.

These visitors typically spend $920 each while in L.A., totaling a potential loss of $736 million in direct tourism spending. This loss would be significant for the city’s local businesses and families employed by the hospitality industry, which is one of the largest and healthiest job sectors in L.A. County. Additionally, in a previous statement on USA Today from Adam Sacks, president of Tourism Economics, “‘America first' rhetoric, which was pronounced during the campaign and Trump’s inauguration speech, is finding consistent expression in policy.

On multiple fronts — diplomacy, trade, border control, visa policy — international markets are receiving a message that America is no longer a welcoming destination." 

The travel analysts forecasted that the U.S. as a whole could suffer an $18 billion loss in U.S. tourism by international visitors over the next two years. 

As a response to the unsettling forecast, Discover Los Angeles launched an initiative to show the world that #EveryoneisWelcome with a heart-centered video which features Angelenos coming together in a message of hope, wonder and a willingness to accept everyone with open arms. To date, the video has amassed more than 12 million views globally.

#EveryoneIsWelcome Campaign 1

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

Layla Shaikley welcomes visitors to L.A.

As an evolution of the campaign, on May 6, hundreds of Angelenos took part in creating one of the world’s largest, human-powered welcome signs in history (and the largest Welcome Activation in L.A.’s history), greeting visitors arriving from around the world with a warm message of love, support and inclusivity. Synchronized volunteers spelled out “welcome” in four languages: Spanish, Chinese, English and Arabic in a spectacular, stadium-style show.

Notable Angeleno, Layla Shaikley, founder of the viral YouTube video, Somewhere In America #mipsterz, designed to shatter stereotypes and share her story as a Muslim woman living in America, was a passionate participant of both the video and the event. 

 

#EveryoneIsWelcome Campaign 2

The eye-catching show of solidarity was seen from the air by visitors arriving on flights from across the globe.

Ready to travel to Los Angeles? Explore how some of its best hotels are inspiring kindness by rewarding travelers with exclusive rates in exchange for a $10 nightly donation to charity. You can give locally to a charity that positively benefits the neighborhood you are traveling to, or to a favorite global charity. 100 percent to charities. 

Explore Kind Hotels in L.A

Don't miss The Hollywood Roosevelt and local charity, The Boys & Girls Club of HollywoodDream Hollywood and local charity, spcaLAThe Angeleno and local charity, 2 Hands 2 Cans; and Hotel Erwin and local charity, The Venice Family Clinic. 

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Volunteers welcome visitors to L.A.

Photos by Rich Fury/Getty Images for Discover Los Angeles and Discover Los Angeles

Kind Traveler CEO, Jessica Blotter, is a kindness curator who dreams of a world where people, animals, and the environment are treated with love and compassion. Follow her to discover where kindness can take you and insights on what it means to travel kindly.