POSTED: January 13th 2016

[Updated] Olympics: Los Angeles 2024 gets a boost setting a tourism record of 45.5 million visitors in 2015

Tourism by the numbers click to enlarge / Discover LA
Tourism by the numbers click to enlarge / Discover LA

LA skyline at night / Bigstock
LA skyline at night / Bigstock

Hollywood is world famous / Bigstock
Hollywood is world famous / Bigstock

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A. Tourism) President & CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. announced the tourism numbers for last year with a record 45.5 million visitors giving a boost to the LA 2024 Olympic bid.

Los Angeles is competing to host the 2024 summer Games against a number of high profile world class tourism cities Budapest, Paris and Rome.  

This marked an increase of 2.8% over 2014 levels, breaking visitation records for the fifth consecutive year. New records were set for domestic and international tourism surpassing mid-year forecasts. Discover Los Angeles confirmed "total domestic visitation reached 38.8 million, a 2.8% increase over 2014, and 6.7 million international visitors made Los Angeles their ultimate destination, a 3.3% increase over the previous year".

LA tourism has benefited from a booming growth in infrastructure across Los Angeles, including an $8.5 billion modernization program at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), an additional 25 hotels being built by 2017 and $88 billion being invested in mass transit which will make moving through the city and region faster and easier than ever before. All these will be an asset for the LA 2024 bid should the city win the nod to host the Games.

This past year was also marked with the Special Olympics World Games, the opening of the Broad Museum and the reopening of the Petersen Automotive Museum. 

"Los Angeles is a place where the world comes together for cultural experiences and celebrated attractions that cannot be found anywhere else," said Mayor Garcetti.

"Our city keeps setting records in the tourism sector because we are investing billions at our airport, in mass transit, and other assets that are making L.A. more exciting and accessible than ever. The sky's the limit," he added.

LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman commented, "The continued increase in the number of visitors to Los Angeles highlights the city as a global destination with a great diversity of attractions, experiences and cultures.

"Los Angeles can take full advantage of our many tourist attractions including our beaches, National Parks, Hollywood, Disneyland and plethora of museums, theaters, galleries and restaurants. 

"And most importantly, our thriving tourism industry demonstrates that we have the necessary infrastructure to comfortably accommodate the world's greatest sports event ��" the Olympic and Paralympic Games."

Where did the international visitors come from? China proved to be a strong market driving international visitation with a year-over-year growth of 13.6%, officially becoming L.A.'s number two international market, behind Mexico, with 779,000 visitors. Third place went to South Korea who also grew by double digits, marking an increase of 11% totaling more than 282,000 visitors. 

Ernest Wooden Jr., president & CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board noted, "We want to recognize and congratulate our hospitality community for their passion and dedication which has allowed us to celebrate our fifth consecutive year of record-breaking visitation. It's these individuals and businesses that make Los Angeles such a dynamic destination that 45.5 million people traveled to experience it in 2015.

"These figures help propel us to our goal of welcoming 50 million visitors by 2020."

Tourism contributes greatly to the Los Angeles economy generating more than 464,000 jobs in the Leisure & Hospitality sector. Countywide a record 28.5 million hotel room nights were sold with ADR reaching a new high of $158.35, a 7.4% increase over 2014. Last year it is estimated that hotel visitors brought in at least $223 million in transient-occupancy tax collections for the City of Los Angeles.

Discover LA is kicking off Restaurant Week January 18-31 showcasing 300  restaurants all across Los Angeles County offering delicious culinary specials for lunch and dinner. Some of the proceeds are also giving back to the Midnight Mission who provides food, shelter and aid to the homeless. 

The IOC will choose their 2024 host city in 2017 in Lima, Peru. 

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-five years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · Olympics · Los Angeles 2024 · Restaurant Week

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