Los Angeles has been celebrating some tourism industry milestones during the USA’s National Travel & Tourism Week, as new figures reveal visitors pumped an all-time high US$23.9bn directly into the L.A. economy in 2018, generating a record $36.6bn in total economic impact.

The fresh statistics come from the new economic impact report released by Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.

Tourism supported 534,258 jobs in L.A. County’s Leisure & Hospitality sector during 2018, its highest total on record, and the sector employed one in every 8.5 workers in the county adding 9,700 new jobs last year.

“Tourism is an essential source of job creation and business activity across our region — and it helps make Los Angeles a global city and a center of economic growth and prosperity,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti. “From surpassing 50m annual visitors in 2018 to preparing to welcome the 2028 Olympic and Paralympic Games, travel and tourism will continue to power our city to new heights.” Of the visitor total, 7.5m were international.

L.A. County’s hotels set all-time highs in 2018 for room nights sold at 30.2m and at an average daily rate (ADR) at $180.17. Travellers generated a record $308m in transient occupancy tax collections (TOT) for the City of L.A., an 8.7% year-over-year increase.

Visitor spending in 2018 was $1.2bn higher than 2017’s total, a 5% increase. Total economic impact (including the induced and indirect benefits) increased 4.9% over the previous year.

Darren K. Green, SVP of Sales of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, tells CMW: “Our MICE business served a key role in achieving a banner year in 2018 as Los Angeles hosted 25 citywide conventions that generated more than 284,000 hotel room nights.

“In addition to hosting the NBA All Star Game in 2018, hosted notable citywides included American Academy of Neurology, which set record show attendance; the inaugural Mobile World Congress Los Angeles, which selected L.A. as their long-term home; and the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), which has called L.A. home since 1995, continued its growth in 2018 with a 14% increase in room nights year-over-year.

“L.A. Tourism’s self-contained sales team generated a record year with a 20% year-over-year increase and more than 276,000 room nights booked for meetings and events in 2018.”

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