Los Angeles welcomed 48.3 million visitors in 2017, setting a new tourism milestone for the seventh consecutive year. The record figure is 1.0 million visitors higher than 2016’s total, an increase of 2.2%, driven by an all-time high 41.2 million domestic visitors. International visitation overall grew 0.9% to a record 7.1 million visitors, outperforming both its projected forecast and inbound travel to the United States as a whole in 2017. International markets recording significant gains for Los Angeles in 2017 include: China with 1.1 million visitors (6.0% YOY increase); Canada with its highest visitor total ever at 747,000 (5.5% YOY increase); South Korea with 315,000 visitors (6.3% YOY increase, the largest gain among all markets); and India with 121,000 visitors (4.0% YOY increase).
A contributing factor to L.A.’s year-over-year increase in international visitation is the resonance of a message of welcome. In April 2017, L.A. Tourism launched an initiative called “Everyone is Welcome” which reinforced the city’s cultural diversity and inclusivity. A recent sentiment study conducted in Australia, the U.K., China and Mexico confirmed the campaign’s effectiveness with positive favorability from each market including a resounding impact on visitation likelihood from China (82%) and Mexico (69%).
Tourism is among the largest and healthiest contributors to the Los Angeles economy, supporting an average of more than 517,000 jobs in the Leisure & Hospitality sector last year. Visitors generated $307 million dollars in transient occupancy tax collections for the City of Los Angeles in 2017, a record. These dollars are used to fund local fire, police as well as cultural and recreational services.
Photo: From left to right: Gene Seroka, Executive Director of Port of Los Angeles; Doane Liu, Executive Director of LACTD; Councilmember Joe Buscaino, District 15; Jon F. Vein, President of LACTD Commission; Ana Cubas, LACTD Commission; Ernest Wooden Jr., President & CEO of L.A. Tourism; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Sean Burton, President, Board of Airport Commissioners; Val Velasco, Vice President of Board of Airport Commissioners; and Deborah Flint, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports