Los Angeles is the second-most-populous city in the nation but falls far down the list of most popular U.S. destinations for business meetings.
The latest ranking of top meeting destinations puts Los Angeles at No. 17, far behind smaller California cities such as San Diego and San Francisco, according to Cvent Inc., one of the nation's largest convention management and technology firms.
The top meeting destination for 2013 was Orlando, Fla., followed by Chicago, Las Vegas, Atlanta and San Diego, according to Cvent, which ranked the cities based on room nights reserved, available meeting venues and other criteria.
Los Angeles tourism leaders hope that the city will move up the ranks because of a nearly completed expansion at
"The way forward includes pursuing international group and meeting attendees, along with groups that L.A. can now accommodate as a result of the increasing hotel inventory, among many other initiatives," said Ernest Wooden Jr., president and chief executive officer at the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.
Attracting business travelers makes sense.
Total spending on business travel in the U.S. reached $262 billion in 2012 and is expected to reach $273 billion in 2013, according to the Global Business Travel Assn., the trade group for corporate travel managers.
Air travelers say onboard Wi-Fi is essential
Wireless Internet on planes has become so essential that some travelers are willing to give up comfort, sustenance and even peace and quiet to get it.
For example, 61% of fliers who were questioned said having no Wi-Fi on a flight is worse than sitting in a seat that doesn't recline, according to a survey of more than 2,000 American adults conducted on behalf of
The same survey found that 32% of passengers say getting disconnected from onboard Wi-Fi is worse than sitting next to a crying baby.
If fliers had to give up a service or comfort to get the best Wi-Fi possible, 32% of U.S. travelers said they would give up a seat that reclines, 42% said they would do without snacks and 13% said they forego access to bathrooms on the plane.
What can fliers accomplish with access to onboard Internet?
One U.S. passenger planned an entire wedding from a plane, according to the survey.
Another U.S. traveler received a college acceptance letter while in the air.
A flier from London even filed for divorce from an airplane.
Inventor builds machine to disinfect airplane seats
If you worry about picking up a funky bacteria on your next airplane trip, fear not: the GermFalcon is on the way.
GermFalcon, an idea that was unveiled last month at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics conference in Los Angeles, looks like an airplane snack cart with retractable arms that stretch out over the airplane seats.
Built into the arms are ultraviolet lights, which the GermFalcon shines on the plane's seats while it rolls down the aisle. The UVC light is designed to kill 99.9% of all surface germs.
Dr. Arthur Kreitenberg, an
"It's a technology that is already being used in hospitals," said Kreitenberg, who already has a patent on a device that sterilizes sports balls called the GermNinja.
A prototype of the GermFalcon has been built by summer interns working at an electronics manufacturer in Santa Ana, but no airline has yet committed to the device, he said.