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Ten years ago, the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport formally adopted the name Bob Hope Airport.
It was a great tribute to the much-loved comedian and stalwart USO volunteer. But the name has a big drawback: It does not give a clue about its geographic location in Southern California.
Airport officials fear they are losing business from out-of-town travelers who book flights to Los Angeles International Airport, without realizing that Bob Hope Airport is closer to tourist attractions such as Hollywood Boulevard and Universal Studios Hollywood.
Passenger traffic at Bob Hope Airport has been dropping steadily for several years.
“It’s hard to differentiate yourself to those kinds of people who are visiting Southern California,” airport spokesman Victor Gill said.
It’s a problem that is shared by another Southern California facility: John Wayne Airport in Orange County.
“We have heard that some people don’t even know where Orange County is,” said Jenny Wedge, a spokeswoman for the airport, which adopted the name “John Wayne Airport, Orange County” in 1979.
Both airports have tried to address the problem in the last few months by emphasizing their location in brochures and pamphlets.
At John Wayne, airport officials often note in marketing material that the facility is the closest airport to Disneyland.
At Bob Hope Airport, the name “Burbank” has been added to the airport’s designation in promotional material. “By and large, a lot of people have heard of Burbank,” he said.
(c)2013 the Los Angeles Times
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