Volleyball players, firefighters and female engineers are among the Los Angeles visitors who are expected to make 2014 a big year for the city's convention center.
The Los Angeles Convention Center reported it has already booked 29 conventions for 2014, surpassing the 22 conventions that held at the facility in 2013. The events include 11 gatherings that are new to L.A.
"Los Angeles is hot right now," said Ernest Wooden Jr., president and chief executive of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
Tourism across the nation has been on the rise as the economy has improved. Los Angeles played host to about 42 million visitors in 2013, marking the third year in a row that the city has set a new record for tourists, according to the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board.
In October, operation of the convention center was turned over to the Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton Hotel complex adjacent to its L.A. Live and Staples Center properties in downtown Los Angeles.
Among the biggest conventions scheduled for L.A. this year are the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the annual gaming and electronics show in June, and the Anime Expo, the annual celebration of Japanese cartoons and comic books in July.
The new conventions booked at the convention center include the Southern California Volleyball Assn.'s National Qualifier in March, the World Firefighter Games in August and the Society of Women Engineers in October. Each is expected to draw at least 3,500 attendees.
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