If your city’s name included one of the most recognisable words in the world (such as Hollywood), wouldn’t you utilise it to grab attention, increase awareness and potentially raise visitor numbers?

That’s what the tourism leaders over at the real home of celebrities, West Hollywood, are hoping to achieve with the decision to replace the acronym ‘WeHo’ in all marketing activity to West Hollywood.

Speaking to KARRYON at a sales mission in Sydney last month, Visit West Hollywood’s Chief Executive, Tom Kiely, said recent research found the city was missing tourism opportunities because there was a fair bit of confusion around the word ‘WeHo’, especially among foreigners unfamiliar with the city’s nickname.

Visit WeHo

Kiely revealed that tourists in other countries and even other US states didn’t completely understand what ‘WeHo’ was and some 83 percent said they’d better connect with and identify the city if marketing featured the word ‘Hollywood’.

“We spent a lot of time explaining what ‘WeHo’ is and it was a missed opportunity.”

Tom Kiely, Visit West Hollywood Chief Executive

Kiely continued, saying that ‘Hollywood’ has “enormous presence” around the world, which West Hollywood could easily leverage off, especially because it shares the same name AND it’s right next door.

Hollywood sign LA Pixabay KarryOn

“We lost a lot of traction with ‘WeHo’, but with the word ‘Hollywood’ we easily have people drawn to our name and they want to know more about us,” he explained.

“We didn’t have that with ‘WeHo’.”

But don’t worry WeHo fans, the city’s nickname isn’t going to completely disappear – Kiely said it’ll be utilised on occasion because it’s fun and it’s what locals use.

“We just need to leverage off of that Hollywood name and grab that imagination and desire to visit West Hollywood,” he added.


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Do you ever refer to West Hollywood as WeHo?