L.A. Tourism Board Announces Tourism Job Growth and Record Visitor Spending During National Travel & Tourism Week Celebration

  • 436,700 tourism industry jobs supported in 2013
  • 21,400 new tourism industry jobs created in 2013
  • Record direct visitor spending of $18.4 billion in 2013
  • Tourism businesses and industry workers lauded for contributions to L.A.’s booming tourism industry

LOS ANGELES, Calif. (May 6, 2014) – Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) President & CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. and Board Chairman Carl Schuster today announced that L.A.’s tourism industry supported 436,700 jobs in 2013, up 5.2% over 2012, and fueled job growth, adding 21,400 new jobs.  In addition, L.A.’s record 42.2 million visitors last year also spent a record $18.4 billion at local L.A. businesses. The announcement was made to kick off this week’s National Travel & Tourism Week, an annual event established by Congress in 1984 and celebrated by destinations all across the country.

One of the area’s largest and strongest economic sectors, leisure and hospitality employs 1 in every 9 workers in L.A. County.  With L.A.’s record visitation last year, tourism jobs grew twice as fast as the overall jobs market in L.A. County.  One out of every 5 new jobs created last year was in L.A.’s tourism industry.*

“As one of L.A.’s fastest-growing industries, tourism has been a stabilizing force for L.A.’s economy and is an integral part of our foundation for the future,” said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has championed growing L.A.’s tourism industry. “National Travel and Tourism Week is a perfect time to celebrate the incredible contributions that tourism makes to L.A., employing our family members and neighbors, helping our local businesses thrive, and helping fund the city services our community depends on.”

“L.A.’s third consecutive record-breaking year for tourism in 2013, and the huge contributions in jobs and visitor spending underscore L.A.’s position as one of the world’s leading global tourist destinations,” Wooden said. “This achievement shows that we are on track to reach our goal of 50 million visitors by 2020, and is a real reason to recognize all of the people, families, agencies and businesses that are the front line of the tourism industry every day. Their professionalism and dedication to service make a big difference in our visitors’ experience in L.A., and inspires them to keep coming back.”

“Those working in the tourism industry are our city’s ambassadors, and are an important part of achieving these powerful economic impacts for Los Angeles,” said Schuster, who is also President and CEO of Wolfgang Puck Catering. “Around the clock, they help those who come to Los Angeles have the greatest tourist experience they can. So I am pleased to salute them during National Travel and Tourism Week, and every day, for the great work they do. They all help make L.A. the greatest American destination.”

L.A. Tourism has activities planned throughout National Travel & Tourism Week to thank local tourism industry staff, starting today with special appreciation deliveries of lunch and snacks to L.A. area tourism businesses in partnership with Border Grill and Etchea Café & Bakery.  Throughout the week, L.A. Tourism will highlight stories about people in the tourism industry along with legendary L.A. tourism venues at www.discoverlosangeles.com/local.  The page will also feature information to help L.A. residents find hotels, activities, dining and other visitor information for their visiting friends and relatives, and to help them discover hidden gems for a “staycation” experience in their own backyard.

To be a part of the conversation and celebration, share favorite L.A. travel photos and stories on Twitter and Instagram tagged with #LAstory, #traveleffect and @tourismLA. 

Record-breaking tourism for L.A. in 2013

In 2013, the Los Angles tourism industry broke every local tourism record including total visitation (42.2. million), total domestic visitors, total international visitors, annual hotel occupancy and total hotel room nights.

Total domestic visitation to Los Angeles reached 36 million visitors in 2013, a 1.9% increase over 35.3 million in 2012. Domestic overnight visitation achieved its highest historical level with 22.3 million overnight visitors.
Total international visitation set a record with 6.2 million visitors, a 2.7% percent increase over 2012.

L.A.'s hotel occupancy and hotel room nights both set all-time record highs in 2013.  Hotel occupancy for the year reached 76.8%, surpassing the previous 2012 record of 75.4%.  L.A. County’s hotels sold a record 27.2 million room nights in 2013, an increase of 2.1% percent over 2012.

About Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board is a private, non-profit business association whose primary mission is to market and promote Los Angeles as the premier site for leisure travel, meetings and conventions as the City’s official tourism marketing organization.  For more information, visit the official visitor information website of Los Angeles at www.discoverLosAngeles.com, join the more than one million people who follow L.A. Tourism’s Facebook page at facebook.com/LosAngelesFan, or follow @discoverLA on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

*Data sources include Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

Media Contacts

Susan Lomax                            
Vice President, Communications                
Office: (213) 236-2397                          
[email protected]                        

Matt Myerhoff
Manager, Corporate Communications
Cell: (818) 293-8962
[email protected]