• Q&A: Adam Burke, President & CEO, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

    POSTED August 10, 2020

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to lauren.pahmeier@tigeroak.com

Adam Burke was recently named the President & CEO for Los Angeles Tourism. 

1. What are you looking forward to most in your new role?

Collaborating with our members, partners and civic leaders to help lead L.A.’s economic recovery. While the pandemic’s impact on travel & tourism has been unprecedented, our industry has always proven to be incredibly resilient. Our goal is to come together as a community to reinvigorate our local economy, safely welcome back visitors and responsibly get Angelenos back to work.

2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role?

First and foremost, I consider myself fortunate to work with such an exceptionally talented, passionate team. Having served as the organization’s Chief Operating Officer for the last 4.5 years, I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with everyone and they continue to raise the bar with their creativity, agility and commitment to excellence. Beyond that, during my 25+ years in the industry, I’ve been able to work across a wide range of disciplines including brand marketing, both leisure and group segments, international tourism, CRM, operations and technology. As a result, it’s enabled me to look at our business holistically and effectively partner with our senior leadership and their teams.

3. How did you get into this industry?

Immediately following college, I joined Deloitte in their management consulting practice. In that role, I was lucky enough to work with clients in a variety of industries, which was a terrific experience. During that time, I served on a project team that assisted a major hotel company on their strategic plan and that got me hooked! Like so many of us in this business, once you’ve worked in travel & tourism, it’s hard to imagine doing anything else!

4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role?

Before the pandemic, and under the extraordinary leadership of Ernie Wooden, Los Angeles had enjoyed nine consecutive years of record growth in tourism. In 2019, over 544,000 Angelenos were employed in our industry, making it L.A. County’s third largest employer. It’s been heartbreaking to see the job losses over the last four months, so my greatest hope for the immediate future is to deliver the right programming at the right time to help drive the recovery across all segments of our business.

5. What do you enjoy most about the industry?

Having worked for Hilton for nearly 20 years, I was always struck by Conrad Hilton’s vision of “World Peace Through International Trade & Travel.” I realize that might sound like a cliché, but if you’ve read his biography, he passionately believed in the power of our industry to transform the world around us. I share the belief that the more we explore other cultures and traditions, the more we discover just how much we have in common. One of my favorite quotes is, “I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list.”

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Charleen Murphy, BEI San Francisco’s director of sales & marketing, shared her insights on getting back to group business in California.



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