Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism) president and CEO Ernest Wooden Jr announced that Los Angeles welcomed 48.31 million visitors in 2017, setting a new record for the seventh consecutive year. The record figure is 1.0 million visitors higher than 2016’s total, an increase of 2.2 per cent, driven by an all-time high 41.2 million domestic visitors. International visitation overall grew 0.9 per cent to a record 7.1 million visitors, outperforming both its projected forecast and inbound travel to the United States as a whole in 2017.
International markets recording significant gains for Los Angeles in 2017 include: China with 1.1 million visitors (6.0 per cent y-o-y increase); Canada with its highest visitor total ever at 747,000 (5.5 per cent y-o-y increase); South Korea with 315,000 visitors (6.3 per cent y-o-y increase, the largest gain among all markets); and India with 121,000 visitors (4.0 per cent y-o-y increase). Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) also announced a record-breaking 2017, having welcomed more than 84.9 million passengers.
“We are powering Los Angeles’ economy to new heights every year, because we know that lasting prosperity means investing boldly in jobs, opportunity, and growth. The expansion of our travel and tourism sector tells the story of a city whose moment has arrived – and we will continue pushing forward as we expand our role on the world stage, and prepare to welcome the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028,” said Mayor Garcetti.
In April 2017, LA Tourism launched an initiative called ‘Everyone is Welcome’ which is said to have reinforced the city’s cultural diversity and inclusivity. A recent sentiment study conducted in Australia, the UK, China and Mexico confirmed the campaign’s effectiveness with positive favorability from each market including an impact on visitation likelihood from China (82 per cent) and Mexico (69 per cent).
“Our ‘Everyone is Welcome’ campaign was the right message at the right time; it was a message of humanity and encouraged people around the globe to see the diversity of L.A.’s faces and places. In 2018, we will extend and amplify our message of ‘welcome’ and intertwine a message of hospitality, fueling even greater momentum towards our north star of 50 million visitors by the year 2020,” said Wooden Jr.