THE Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LATCB) now is expanding its position as the Gateway to North America by increasing its footprint in the Asia Pacific region.

According to Kathryn Smits, Vice President, Tourism for the LATCB said we appointed Craig Gibbons, who has helmed the organization’s tourism efforts for Australia and New Zealand out of its Sydney office as Regional Director, Australia/New Zealand since 2014, will now have oversight for Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

“In his role, Gibbons will develop and support air service for Los Angeles International Airport (LAX); design a robust destination training program for the travel trade utilizing the L.A. Insider program; and attend key industry trade shows in the region,” she said.

Kathryn Smits also mentioned that 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. 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.

Meanwhile Craig Gibbons, Regional Director, Oceania and Southeast Asia said 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.

“Southeast Asia is the third-largest travel market in the world. In 2018, Los Angeles welcomed 130,800 visitors from Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, a 5% year-over-year growth. Through Los Angeles Tourism’s hybrid approach of full time-staff-operated international offices and market representation, the destination now serves fifteen markets,” he added.

Gibbons’ experience with Southeast Asia runs deep: Prior to joining Los Angeles Tourism, Gibbons was the Commercial & Trade Executive, Southeast Asia & Australia for Visit Britain and held the role of Australia Country Manager for Visit Indonesia. []