Visitor numbers to Los Angeles are on track to reach more than 46.5 million in 2016, a 2.4% increase on the previous record-setting year.
That was one of the topline figures revealed by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) Market Outlook Forum this week.
Domestic overnight visitation to Los Angeles is expected to grow 2.1% to almost 24 million this year while international visitation is estimated to grow 3.9% to more than seven million. Total visitor spend in 2016 is projected to eclipse $21.5 billion, an increase of 4.4% from last year.
“With global interest and desire for the Los Angeles experience propelling the City of Angels towards another banner year in 2016, we have our goal of 50 million visitors by 2020 locked in our sights,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., president & CEO of L.A. Tourism. “From exploring our hidden gem neighborhoods like the Arts District to becoming fully immersed in our thriving art and culinary scenes, there’s never been a better time to get lost in L.A.”
Gulf carriers are playing an increasingly significant role in driving traffic from Asia and the Middle East to LA.
Emirates recently launched its second daily A380 service to the US city, which means the Dubai carrier now serves nearly 1,000 passengers travelling to LA each day.
Hotel occupancy in LA is also on the up, and in the first half of 2016 reached 81.9%. It is projected to total 81.1% for the entire year.
The city’s convention business is also thriving with 29 conventions booked for 2017, delivering a combined estimated economic impact of $433 million.