• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Campaign launched to boost Hollywood tourism

April 1, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A new campaign to boost tourism in Hollywood was launched Thursday morning. The 'Visit Hollywood 2010' program highlights the opening of new attractions, remodeled hotels and landmark anniversaries like the Hollywood Walk of Fame.The whole idea is to bring more visitors and more money. There may be more pictures taken in Hollywood and Universal Studios than anywhere else on the planet. The whole world knows about it and they come by the millions each year to see it for themselves.

"I'm loving L.A.," said tourist Michael Chacua. "I mean, watching the reality shows and hearing it from friends that visited, it's so far so good, can't complain."

"I've been having a great time. We're going to do the tours today and see the star's homes," said another tourist, Ira Herrick.

Hollywood's Chamber of Commerce loves to hear things like that and like any good business group they would like to hear even more. The 'Visit Hollywood 2010' campaign is designed to highlight the areas and new attractions.

"Madame Tussauds is open, we've got the Hollywood History museum and the W Hotel just opened so there are a lot of new things happening up and down the boulevard," said Leron Gubler, President of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.

Getting people to visit Hollywood is the easy part but getting them to stay a while longer or come back for another trip is the tougher sell.

A few years ago, many visitors spent only a few minutes on Hollywood Boulevard and while they are staying longer now, some feel that the area could use some sprucing up.

"It could be cleaned up a little bit but it's better than we expected," said tourist Alison Frey.

Still, compared to a few years ago, Hollywood is on the upswing and if the economy helps out, backers believe it's just the beginning.

"Now that we're beginning to get some new attractions and there's the buzz about Hollywood, people are staying longer," said Gubler. "So as the new development comes in, I think we're going to see people really enjoying the Hollywood community."

Tourism is imperative to the local economy. Last year, 22 million tourists visited the L.A. area and they spent about $13 billion.