One of the biggest industries in Los Angeles continues to thrive, as the county surpassed its record for tourist numbers in 2013, drawing 42.2 million visitors.
It was the third consecutive year that Los Angeles County set a record for tourist numbers. In 2012, Los Angeles drew 41.4 million tourists, up 2.5% from 40.4 million in 2011, according to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board.
Los Angeles also broke records for hotel occupancy, which rose to 76.8% in 2013 from 75.4% the year before, and for total rooms sold, which reached 27.2 million room nights in 2013, up 2.1% increase from 2012.
The biggest increase in tourism came from international visitors, a group that typically spends more money per visit than tourists from other parts of the U.S. Of the 42.2 million visitors, 6.2 million came from abroad, up 2.6% increase from 2012, according to the tourism board.
China was the biggest source of overseas visitors, with a jump of more than 21% from 2012. The L.A. tourism board recently opened a second office in China to promote travel to Los Angeles.
“The continuing, record-breaking growth and strength of tourism in Los Angeles is a shining light for our economy, creating good-paying jobs for our families, benefiting local businesses and generating significant revenue for the city that goes toward the important public services our city needs," said Mayor Eric Garcetti, who has been a strong champion of growing the tourism industry in LA.
Tourism brought in $16.5 billion in direct spending in 2012, with a total economic benefit of $30.5 billion, according to the tourism bureau.