Tourism accelerated Los Angeles County’s economic prosperity in 2018 as visitors pumped an all-time high $23.9 billion directly into the L.A. economy, generating a record $36.6 billion in total economic impact. A new economic impact report released today by Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board demonstrates the power of tourism in Los Angeles during National Travel & Tourism Week, an annual event established by Congress and organized by the U.S. Travel Association to celebrate the impact of travel.
Tourism supported 534,258 jobs in L.A. County’s Leisure & Hospitality sector, its highest total on record, employing 1 in every 8.5 workers in the county. Reaffirming the strength of the sector, tourism added 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 50 million 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.”
“Tourism is a powerful force in the growth and development of the Los Angeles economy, developing employment opportunities for our residents and producing significant revenue that goes toward the betterment of our community,” said Ernest Wooden Jr., president & CEO of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. “Our efforts ahead will place a greater emphasis on ensuring tourism delivers even stronger benefits to our community as we work towards increasing total economic impact to the Los Angeles region.”
“A shining light for our local economy, tourism in Los Angeles continues to thrive, supporting half-a-million jobs while sparking investments in local infrastructure,” said Councilman Joe Buscaino, chairman of L.A. City Council’s Trade, Travel and Tourism Committee. “Angelenos should be incredibly proud our city continues to be a desired destination for millions of travelers from around the globe.”
L.A. County’s hotels set all-time highs in 2018 for room nights sold (demand) at 30.2 million and average daily rate (ADR) at $180.17. Travelers generated a record $308 million in transient occupancy tax collections (TOT) for the City of L.A., an 8.7% year-over-year increase. These dollars are a critical revenue source for the City, used to fund local street repair, fire and police, as well as cultural and recreational services.
Visitor spending in 2018 was $1.2 billion higher than 2017’s total, a 5% increase. Total economic impact (including the induced and indirect benefits) increased 4.9% over the previous year.
Tourism contributed $2.9 billion in state and local tax revenues last year. Without tourism, every household in L.A. County would pay an additional $875 in taxes.
Los Angeles welcomed 50 million visitors in 2018 setting records with 42.5 million domestic visitors and 7.5 million international visitors.
Data sources for this article include Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company; STR; and California Employment Development Department.
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