Travelers flying into Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday will get an unusual welcome to the city, even before their planes touch the ground.
Hundreds of volunteers working with the Discover Los Angeles, the area’s tourism board, plan to stand in a park just north of the airport’s runways, holding up signs that spell out “Welcome” in four languages.
The effort is an attempt by the board to counter the message that tourism officials say is being sent by President Trump’s plans to block travel from some majority-Muslim countries and build a wall along the U.S.’ southern border.
About 1,000 volunteers who work for hotels, restaurants, airports and other tourism businesses will hold signs that say “Welcome” in English, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The event comes a few weeks after the tourism board released a music video showing people of various ethnic backgrounds hugging, dancing and skateboarding near iconic L.A. tourism spots, including the Original Farmers Market, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Venice Beach and Olvera Street.
The video — titled “Everyone Is Welcome” — was also created to address the fear that Trump’s policies are sending the wrong message to foreign visitors.
In a report released Thursday, Visit California, the state’s nonprofit tourism bureau, said travel spending in the state was $126.3 billion last year, up about 3% from 2015. It said the industry supported more than 1 million jobs, up 3.4% from 2015.
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