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L.A. County tourism broke records, supported more jobs in 2013

L.A. County tourism broke records, supported more jobs in 2013
A record 42.2 million visitors came to Los Angeles County in 2013, supporting more jobs and spending more compared with the previous year. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

A record-breaking year for tourism in Los Angeles County in 2013 was also responsible for an increase in tourism-related jobs and spending.

The 42.2 million visitors to L.A. County in 2013, a 2.5% increase from the previous year, supported 436,700 jobs, a 5.2% increase, according to a report by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.

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Those visitors also spent a record $18.4 billion in 2013, a 5.5% jump from the previous year, the board reported.

The numbers represent continued good news for the region, where the travel and hospitality industries employed one of every nine workers. Last year was the third in a row that the county broke its record for total visitors.

The county's hotels also set new records for occupancy, with an average rate of 76.8%, compared with 75.4% in 2012, the board said.

International tourism was reponsible for the biggest growth in visitors, particularly from Mexico, Canada, China, Brazil, Japan and South Korea.

"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.

The tourism board predicts the county will draw 43.2 million visitors in 2014, with spending reaching $19.5 billion.

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