It’s 10 years away but the summer Olympic games will be coming to Los Angeles in 2028. Why should we care?
Los Angeles just came to an agreement with the International Olympic Committee to host the games. Something that the United States has been after for the last 10 years. I was going to write about the Dodgers today but the Olympics stole my thunder.
This will be a major boon for the entire region and will attract visitors from all over the world. So we should care.
But it’s 10 years away, we have plenty of time to prepare. Not necessarily.
Some things take time to prepare for. Los Angeles will be doing the most preparing, but surrounding regions should also. We could use a bit more tourism infrastructure in town. That sounds expensive but it’s not.
We will be seeing some of the elite athletes in the world coming to this country, and along with them will be some high-end tourism. They will be wanting to spend money and to see some of our national parks and, of course, Pahrump being known as the gateway to Death Valley should prepare accordingly.
Having Death Valley right in our backyard will certainly help us, and then there is Las Vegas right next door too.
Tourism is already on the rise in the region.
According to the Los Angeles Times, here are where the top international visitors liked to go:
For the Canadians, Death Valley tops their list; for the British, Death Valley was third; for the Germans, Death Valley was fifth; for the French, Death Valley was first. Then there are the Chinese, who are the No. 1 tourists in the world. They like to go to Las Vegas.
Are we ready for the Chinese invasion? Do you know Chinese? I don’t. I think the only one in Pahrump who is ready for the Chinese is our only Kung Fu instructor in town, Evan Thompson.
According to the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) statistics, China has become the world’s largest outbound tourism market. Chinese travelers are now the top source of tourism cash in the world, spending $164 billion in 2014, a 27 percent increase from 2013. A typical Chinese tourist spends an average of $6,000.
It was the Japanese in the ‘80s and now the Chinese are coming. More than ever, Chinese tourism is vacating the bus tours and venturing out on their own. We see them on the big buses stopping at Albertsons and the China Wok.
Where does that leave us?
Are we prepared to accommodate them?
I think we should accommodate the tourist and have more signage out there in their language, but we are not the most welcoming town in the world. After all, our town did vote to outlaw Spanish in the town. Remember that! What nonsense. We want people to spend money in this town, but don’t let them speak their native tongue. Go figure.
A lot would have to change in this town but one thing that is an easy thing to do is just being nice and civil to people. And I do think we have a lot of nice people in town. Oh, and maybe a bigger visitor center that is staffed with a real live person. That would be a good start.
Contact sports editor Vern Hee at email@example.com