Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board has signalled its intention to expand into Southeast Asia from its Asia Pacific office based in Sydney.
The board's regional director for Australia/New Zealand, Craig Gibbons will be leading the expansion to key markets Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
In his role, Mr Gibbons will develop air service for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), design a robust destination training program for the travel trade using the L.A. Insider programme and attend key industry trade shows in the region.
"Southeast Asia continues to be an expanding source market for travel to the United States and we are keen to increase and support airlift from the region," said Kathryn Smits, vice President, Tourism for the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
In 2018, Los Angeles received 130,800 visitors from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, a 5% year-over-year growth. Southeast Asia is the third largest travel market in the world, according to Oxford Economics.
"As Craig has developed great familiarity with and relationships in this market over the course of his tenure as our Regional Director, Australia/New Zealand, it was a natural progression to dedicate more efforts to attracting visitors from Southeast Asia and have him lead the charge," said Ms Smits.
"Los Angeles is home to a large Southeast Asian resident population and the city also has strong economic ties to this region. I look forward to building upon these destination strengths to increase desire for the Los Angeles experience," said Craig Gibbons, regional director, Oceania and Southeast Asia.
Prior to joining Los Angeles Tourism, Mr Gibbons was the commercial and trade executive, Southeast Asia & Australia for Visit Britain and held the role of Australia country manager for Visit Indonesia.
Los Angeles Tourism serves fifteen international markets through a combination of full time-staff-operated international offices and market representation.