LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism) President & CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. announced today that Los Angeles welcomed a record 42.2 million visitors in 2013, a 2% increase over 2012’s 41.4 million, beating mid-year projections by 150,000 visitors and breaking visitation records for the third consecutive year. The announcement was made at the California Science Center, one of the city’s landmark cultural institutions and a top attraction, which is also home to the U.S. Space Shuttle Endeavour.
“The continuing, record-breaking growth and strength of tourism in Los Angeles is a shining light for our economy, creating good-paying jobs for our families, benefiting local businesses, and generating significant revenue for the city that goes toward the important public services our city needs," said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has been a strong champion of growing the tourism industry in LA. "Angelenos should be proud that our great city is such a highly desired tourist destination for visitors from across the U.S. and around the world."
Total domestic visitation to Los Angeles reached 36 million visitors in 2013, a 1.9% increase over 35.3 million in 2012. Domestic overnight visitation achieved its highest historical level with 22.3 million overnight visitors. This constitutes 490,000 new domestic overnight visitors and a growth of 2.2%.
Total international visitation set a record with 6.2 million visitors, a 2.6% percent increase over 2012. China was the biggest driver of overseas visitation with a year-over-year growth of more than 21%, and solidified its position as LA’s No. 1 overseas market. LA Tourism recently opened a second office in China (offices are now in Beijing and Shanghai) and will continue to develop innovative marketing efforts to attract this large and growing market.
LA's hotel occupancy and hotel room nights sold both set all-time record highs in 2013. Hotel occupancy for the year reached 76.8%, surpassing the previous 2012 record of 75.4%. LA County’s hotels sold a record 27.2 million room nights in 2013, an increase of 2.1% percent over 2012.
“The third consecutive record-breaking year for tourism underscores that Los Angeles has emerged as a leading global tourist destination,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., LA Tourism’s President & CEO. “We are on track to reach the goal of 50 million visitors by 2020. The fact that 2013 visitation exceeded projections for organic growth shows the impact that LA Tourism’s ongoing marketing efforts, the efforts of our tourism partners, and the coordinated improvements in public infrastructure and major improvements at LAX Airport have on our economy. This is a huge achievement for the Los Angeles tourism and hospitality industry.”
“The Endeavour helped attract nearly 2.8 million guests to the California Science Center during 2013, its first full year on exhibit – including more than 21,000 visitors in a single day. We are pleased Endeavour contributed to the continued growth of Los Angeles Tourism,” said California Science Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rudolph.
Highlights of 2013 destination marketing efforts include:
- Resuming LA Tourism’s television and digital advertising campaigns in key domestic markets in 2013 after a several-year hiatus. Advertising ran in LA’s top domestic feeder markets in San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Sacramento, Fresno, and New York City.
- Expansion of global consumer marketing efforts in China, Canada, the U.K. and Australia.
- Heavier focus on destination promotions centering on the city’s cultural and special event offerings, including a fall “Museum Season” program, as well as efforts behind this past week’s Rose Bowl and Rose Parade festivities.
- The re-launch of a consumer-centric website www.discoverLosAngeles.com, providing visitors from all over the world with information to help plan their visits to Los Angeles. The site has more than doubled the previous site’s traffic to more than six million visitors in the last 18 months. discoverLosAngeles.com was recently named one of the top 20 tourism websites in the world by travel website Skift.com in 2013.
- Los Angeles also became the first city in the country to attract more than 1 million Facebook fans this past year.
Coming in 2014 - Preliminary forecasts indicate that visitation to the destination will continue its strong growth trend. To keep the momentum going strong in 2014, LA Tourism is rolling out a new integrated consumer marketing campaign in the U.S., U.K., Australia, Canada and China, as well as a new comprehensive media campaign focused on growing international meetings and conventions business in Los Angeles; and enhancing sales efforts around the world to mine meetings and conventions business for LA in collaboration with the convention center and its new private operator, AEG Facilities.
Tourism is among the largest and healthiest contributors to the Los Angeles economy, bringing $16.5 billion in direct spending to Los Angeles for a total economic benefit of $30.5 billion in 2012. Tourism directly supported 324,000 jobs in the LA region in 2012. Visitation to Los Angeles generated $179 million in transient-occupancy taxes for the City of LA in FY12-13, a 10.7% increase over $162 million in the prior year. Tourism also generated $2.1 billion in total local and state tax revenue.
ABOUT LOS ANGELES TOURISM & CONVENTION BOARD
Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is a private, non-profit business association whose primary mission is to market and promote Los Angeles as the premier site for leisure travel, meetings and conventions as the City’s official tourism marketing organization. For more information, visit the official visitor information website of Los Angeles at www.discoverLosAngeles.com, join the more than one million people who follow LA Tourism’s Facebook page at facebook.com/LosAngelesFan, or follow @discoverLA on Twitter.