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Los Angeles celebrates record tourism and visitor spending during national travel and tourism week

Tourism boosts L.A. economy as 45.6 million visitors 
spent $20.6 billion in 2015 

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) announced that Los Angeles County’s record-breaking 45.6 million visitors injected more than $20.6 billion into the local economy in 2015. According to a statewide report released today by Visit California, tourism in L.A. County is the largest contributor of direct visitor spend in the Southern California region and all of California, contributing more than 21% of the state’s overall direct spend total.

The celebratory announcement coincides with this week’s National Travel and Tourism Week, an annual nationwide event established by Congress and organized by the U.S. Travel Association to champion the power of travel.  

Final visitation figures include 38.8 million domestic visitors and 23.4 million domestic overnight visitors. International visitors achieved 6.8 million visitors, a new total that exceeds previously reported 2015 estimates, driven by additional visitation from China (increase of 45,000) and South Korea (increase of 13,000).  

Direct visitor spending increased 4.9% from the previous year, generating $31.6 billion in total economic impact including the induced and indirect benefits. Tourism in L.A. County generated $2.5 billion in state and local tax revenues in 2015, representing 20% of all state tax revenue collected from tourism in California.  

L.A. County’s tourism industry is a significant driver for jobs in the Leisure & Hospitality sector, one of the area’s largest and strongest economic sectors. Tourism supports 488,100 jobs within the L&H sector and last year contributed to the addition of 21,500 new jobs, a year-over-year increase of 4.6%.

"Tourism isn't just thriving in Los Angeles — it's powering an economic resurgence that touches every corner of our city," said Mayor Garcetti. "And the 2015 numbers once again show the power of this sector to support good-paying jobs every year for hundreds of thousands of Angelenos who work hard to make Los Angeles the best place in the world to visit."

“I can wholeheartedly say there’s never been a better time to visit Los Angeles; whether a first-time visitor or a returning Los Angeles loyalist, the destination continues to mesmerize travelers from across the globe with only-in-L.A. experiences,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., president & CEO of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.

“National Travel & Tourism Week is the perfect time to thank our local Leisure & Hospitality industry - our city’s ambassadors - for their everyday dedication and passion for the visitor experience that makes L.A. such a welcoming, desired destination for millions of visitors.”

L.A. Tourism will celebrate these record-breaking achievements throughout the week with special appreciation for both visitors and local hospitality community:
• On Tuesday, May 3, @discoverLA on Instagram will host two “NTTW Tag2sday” giveaway contests for two popular Los Angeles attractions for visitors to experience during their next trip to L.A.
• On Thursday, May 5, the first 50 local hospitality workers to visit the L.A. Tourism Visitor Information Center at Hollywood & Highland (6801 Hollywood Blvd., 2nd floor) will receive a complimentary Los Angeles t-shirt to wear with pride. Hospitality ID required.  

“In addition to supporting hundreds of thousands of jobs, tourism has sparked tremendous investment in local infrastructure and we will continue to work diligently to ensure Los Angeles continues to stand out as one of the world’s premier travel and meetings destinations in today’s fiercely competitive market,” stated Los Angeles Councilman Curren Price, chairman of L.A. City Council’s Economic Development Committee.  

A record 28.5 million hotel room nights were sold countywide as hotel visitors generated $235 million in transient-occupancy tax collections for the City of Los Angeles, critical funds used for vital public services.

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