Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) President and CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. have announced Los Angeles welcomed 47.3 million visitors in 2016, surpassing mid-year forecasts and breaking visitation records for the sixth consecutive year. The new record is 1.7 million visitors higher than 2015’s total, an increase of 3.8 percent from the previous year.
New tourism records were set for overall domestic and international visitation. Total domestic visitation reached 40.2 million, a 3.8 percent increase over 2015, and 7.1 million international visitors made Los Angeles their ultimate destination, a 3.5 percent increase over the previous year.
In 2016, Los Angeles also became the first ever U.S. city destination to welcome more than 1 million visitors from China, the destination’s number two international market behind Mexico. China alone accounted for 75 percent of the destination’s overall international growth, derived from the market’s year-over-year growth of nearly 22 percent – the seventh consecutive year of at least 20 percent visitation growth for China. L.A. Tourism will continue to invest in the market with plans to expand its footprint: Chengdu will become L.A. Tourism’s fourth China office when it opens by the end of June 2017, joining Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
India was L.A.’s second-fastest growing international market, an increase of 10.2 percent. L.A. Tourism established official representation in this market in 2016 as well as the Gulf/Middle East, an important connection point for visiting Indian travelers.
In terms of hotels, L.A. County’s average occupancy rate for 2016 reached 81.3 percent, surpassing 80 percent for the first time in County history. A record 29.2 million hotel room nights were sold countywide with ADR reaching a new high of $171.95, an increase of 8.6 percent over 2015. L.A. County is the only U.S. market to reach double-digit RevPar growth at nearly 11 percent.
Tourism is among the largest and healthiest contributors to the Los Angeles economy, supporting an average of more than 500,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector last year.