A record 42.2 million people visited Los Angeles in 2013 -- up nearly 2 percent from the number of visitors to the City of Angels the previous year, Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board officials announced Monday.
People who traveled to Los Angeles from within the United States made up 36 million of those visitors, while the number of overseas visitors hit a record 6.2 million, with the largest share of that group coming from China.
The increase over the 41.4 million visitors in 2012 completes a three-year climb in visitor numbers seen by the Los Angeles area, officials said.
Mayor Eric Garcetti called the steady increase 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."
"The third consecutive record-breaking year for tourism underscores that Los Angeles has emerged as a leading global tourist destination," LA Tourism President Ernest Wooden Jr. said.
Garcetti and tourism officials unveiled the numbers while gathered in front of the Space Shuttle Endeavor. The attraction debuted in 2012 at the California Science Center, drawing 2.8 million patrons in 2013, or 21,000 visitors per day, according to museum officials.
Tourism numbers got a boost from renewed television and digital advertising campaigns launched in San Francisco, San Diego, Phoenix, Sacramento, Fresno, New York City and other domestic feeder cities during 2013, Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board officials said.
The board also revamped its tourism website, discoverLosAngeles.com, and added a second China tourism office in the city of Shanghai. The tourism board, a private non-profit group that works with the city to promote tourism, also runs an office in Beijing, China.
"We are on track to reach the goal of 50 million visitors by 2020," Wooden said. "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."
Tourism board officials said their goals for 2014 include promoting the city's meeting and conventions venues, particularly at the Los Angeles Convention Center, and expanding its marketing efforts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and China.
Tourists spent about $16.5 billion a year, generated $30.5 billion in economic benefit and supported 340,000 in Los Angeles in 2012, tourism officials said.
- City News Service