L.A. County sets another tourism record with 48.3 million visitors last year

2018-01-11 | Los Angeles Times

For the seventh straight year, Los Angeles County has set a record for drawing big-spending tourists.

The county hosted 48.3 million visitors in 2017, a 2.2 percent increase over the record 47.3 million tourists in 2016, according to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who announced the fresh record during a news conference at Los Angeles International Airport.

The visitor increase was fueled by a 6.3 percent surge in travelers from South Korea, a 6 percent jump in tourists from China, and a 5.5 percent improvement in visitors from Canada, the Los Angeles Tourism Convention Board reported.

Garcetti and Ernest Wooden, chief executive of the Los Angeles Tourism Convention Board, attributed the increase in visitors to a campaign launched last year called "Everyone is Welcome."

The campaign was meant to be a response to President Trump's anti-immigration rhetoric and his travel bans, which some industry leaders say is scaring off international visitors.

In contrast to L.A.'s visitor increase, overall international visitation to the U.S. dropped 4 percent in the first six months of 2017, according to the latest data from the National Travel and Tourism Office.

The U.S. Travel Assn., a trade group for the country's travel industry, said it plans to respond to the drop by forming a coalition with other U.S. industries, called "Visit US," to send a message that the country welcomes international visitors.

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