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Los Angeles' Tourism industry generates record $34.9 billion in economic impact

Destination celebrates milestones during National Travel & Tourism Week as 48.5 million visitors spent $22.7 billion in 2017
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) today announced Los Angeles County’s record-setting 48.5 million visitors pumped an all-time high $22.7 billion directly into the L.A. economy in 2017, generating a record $34.9 billion in total economic impact (including the induced and indirect benefits). The announcement coincides with National Travel & Tourism Week, an annual event established by Congress and organized by the U.S. Travel Association to celebrate the power of travel.


In 2017, Los Angeles welcomed 41.2 million domestic visitors; and 7.3 million international visitors, a final total that exceeds a previously reported estimate. The revised total was increased by 160,000 additional visitors from overseas markets that include China (increase of 60,000 to 1.12 million) and South Korea (increase of 30,000 to 340,000). Total visitation overall grew 2.6% in 2017 over 2016 while international visitation grew 3.2% year-over-year.

Tourism supported 523,800 jobs in L.A. County’s Leisure & Hospitality sector, one of the area’s largest and strongest economic sectors, employing 1 in every 8.5 workers. The tourism industry contributed to the second largest addition of new jobs last year across all industry sectors with 13,900.

“We’re breaking tourism records year after year, because Los Angeles has always been a place that welcomes the world,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “This National Travel and Tourism Week, I’m proud to celebrate our thriving tourism industry as an economic engine that drives L.A. forward. And with upcoming attractions like the Lucas Museum and the 2028 Olympic Games, our incredible story is just beginning.”  

“As we move closer to our goal of 50 million visitors by 2020, tourism has undeniably become an impactful economic driver for Los Angeles underscored by seven straight years of unparalleled growth,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., president & CEO of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. “We are committed to ensuring that our city continues to deliver a transformative experience and thank our hospitality partners for their ongoing investments that make Los Angeles one of premier tourist destinations in the world.”

“Tourism in Los Angeles continues to thrive. A shining light for our local economy, the industry supports half-a-million jobs while producing significant revenue for vital public services and sparking investments in local infrastructure,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino, chairman of L.A. City Council’s Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee. “Angelenos should be incredibly proud our city continues to be a desired destination for millions of travelers from around the globe.”

L.A. County’s hotels set all-time highs in 2017 for room nights sold (demand) at 29.4 million and average daily rate (ADR) at $175.98. Travelers generated a record $283.9 million in transient occupancy tax collections (TOT) for the City of L.A., a 14.3% year-over-year increase. These dollars are a critical revenue source for the City, used to fund local street repair, fire and police, as well as cultural and recreational services.

Direct visitor spend in 2017 was $800 million higher than 2016’s total, an increase of 3.9%. Tourism contributed $2.74 billion in state and local tax revenues last year. Without tourism, every household in L.A. County would pay an additional $837 in taxes.

To commemorate National Travel & Tourism Week, L.A. Tourism developed a meme generator for the local hospitality community to celebrate tourism. The new interactive tool gives hospitality businesses the ability to recognize their employees who work tirelessly around-the-clock to welcome visitors to Los Angeles. L.A. Tourism will share the content created on its own social channels throughout the week.

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