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Hollywood tour bus law: Tourists must approach operators

A new law meant to improve the tourist experience is booting tour bus companies from the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
October 21, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new law taking effect Monday is booting Hollywood tour bus companies from the Walk of Fame, and changing the way they can attract business.

Vendors are no longer able to walk up to tourists on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and solicit them for tours of the Los Angeles area. Now, the tourists have to approach the operators, who will be located at kiosks or storefronts on private property.

Any tour bus companies operating on the Walk of Fame will be asked to move, or shutdown completely.

Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell spearheaded the ordinance, which was passed last month.

"Tour operators setup on the sidewalk with no permit, they block the sidewalk, they sell tours and people are required to pay cash," he said.

The main goal behind the rule change is to improve the tourist experience. City leaders say rogue companies aggressively harass tourists and ruin vacation stays.

Walk of Fame greeter Gregg Donovan says he sees it happen all the time.

"Working with the tourists, they come to me and say, 'We get hassled all the time. You're the only person that's been friendly to us and not trying to sell us something,'" he said.

Michael Daves with Prime Time Hollywood Tours has seen rival tour company workers coming to blows.

"It's the Wild Wild West of tours. Tour companies think they own the sidewalk and they want to remain very territorial with their block, when in fact nobody owns the street," Daves said.

Los Angeles' tourism industry pumps an estimated $16.5 billion into the economy annually, with approximately 41 million people visitors travelling to the city a year. O'Farrell wants them coming back.

"It's a public safety issue, it's a quality of life issue, and we need to raise the standards here in Hollywood," O'Farrell said.


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