Sunday, May 22, 2011

Smart Thinking

Tourism publications in Los Angeles aren't known for writing that makes you want to visit every attraction in the area before going back home to Ohio, Japan, Pennsylvania, or wherever you might be from. I suppose they do what's expected of them. Those who look inside each magazine find attractions that may interest them and they pursue them. Of course, there are also sturdy paper advertisements lining the wall to the right of the entrance to the Kodak Theatre shops on the ground floor which serve the same purpose.

I wish the writing was better, though. This stuff is copywriting at its most basic. You have to get people to want to visit these different places. You can't guarantee that their experience will be everything they could have ever dreamed it to be, but you have to set them off on that course, the one that puts money into the Starline Movie Stars' Homes Tour, for example, or the guided tour of the Kodak Theatre. Considering that Los Angeles is home to countless writers, so many with scripts in a drawer, waiting to become famous and with a power close to God, shouldn't there be more writers for these publications? Aren't there people who can put a few excited words together who love these places every single day, people who can go just enough below the surface to attract tourists? That's what Hollywood & Highland and other tourist-centered areas thrive on, so they should do better. I know that when people come here, they're not here to read, but a few words to get the gist of a place and to promote it well enough should always be present. These areas don't have the visual advantage of Las Vegas, so they do have to work harder at it, and that should include writing.

There is one publication I picked up yesterday at the Visitors' Center near the Kodak Theatre entrance, called L.A. The Place: Los Angeles County's Visitor Guide. There's coupons and information on attractions, shopping, and where to eat, but there is one thing included that is indicative of the area, that this city does sleep for the most part: TV listings.

It's listed on the front cover, and this is very smart. This is a monthly guide, and considering that a majority of the hotels and motels to stay at probably don't have DirecTV or any satellite service, they have TV listings for 6:30 p.m. to 12 a.m. each day in May. You won't find this in Las Vegas because that's a 24-hour culture. You pick your time to step off for a while, but that city keeps moving. TV is necessary for the tourists that stay somewhere at night. Those streets are truly empty. The Santa Clarita Valley, my area, starts closing up close to 9 p.m. each night, no matter what day it is.

Thinking about it more, maybe these tourism publications have it right, since there's also a majority of photos in each one. Maybe that's all they need. It works for their purpose and whoever wants to go to Legoland and Universal Studios and Disneyland and Six Flags Magic Mountain will get there. And then these magazines have done their job.