In an effort to pump cash into the local economy, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board launched a program called “LA♥.” Yes, with a little heart. The program is designed to bring local money into the city’s hospitality and tourism industry, a sector suffering huge losses due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the California Employment Development Department, 165,900 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector have been lost in L.A. County since July 2019, a decrease of 30%. L.A.’s tourism board found that if each employed Angeleno stayed three nights in a local hotel, ate at three restaurants and visited three local attractions, they could infuse $1.4 billion into the local economy and help create more than 20,000 jobs.
“We know the pandemic has profoundly affected everyone in our community, and we are appealing to those Angelenos who have the means to help put their neighbors, friends and family members back to work and lift up L.A. — while safely enjoying a staycation in the process,” said Adam Burke, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board in a press release.
In Los Angeles County, hotels are open for overnight stays, and restaurants may open for outdoor dining. Botanical gardens have also reopened, and the L.A. Zoo plans to welcome guests this week. Some art galleries are open by appointment only, and drive-in theaters, comedy shows and musical performances have been popping up throughout the city over the past few months. Every reopened business is required to follow guidelines from the L.A. County Department of Public Health, which always include facial coverings, social distancing and sanitization protocols.
Taking a “staycation” or even going out to eat might be beyond some Angelenos’ comfort level or financial means — we’re also facing record unemployment numbers, after all. But for those who are able, L.A. Tourism has compiled a list of special offers at hotels, restaurants and other attractions in Los Angeles and neighboring cities, including West Hollywood and Beverly Hills.
You can search for deals by neighborhood and category. Each listing includes what the business is offering as well as a link to its safety protocols. Some of the deals offered include discounts, free room upgrades, complimentary breakfast and more. It actually might not be a bad time to book a night in a hotel if you don’t have air conditioning at home.
You can also make a “pledge” on an interactive map stating what you want to do and where you plan to do it. People have already pledged to take a hike at Griffith Park and enjoy some Korean barbecue at Kang Ho Dong BaekJeong. Just don’t forget to wear a mask, wash your hands and tip generously.