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Downtown Los Angeles
LOS ANGELES — Known as the “entertainment capital of the world,” the City of Angels ranks the third richest and fifth most powerful city internationally. Home to countless movie studios, business districts, vibrant art and culture, and an almost never-ending supply of sunshine, it’s no surprise the city has become a mecca for big-name celebrities, moguls, executives and of course, tourists.
Between its status as a top visitor’s destination with many affluent neighborhoods, Los Angeles is a promising place for limousine and tour operators to consider for the New Year. The metropolis also boasts an extensive potential client base, as it is the most populous city in the Golden State.
Tending to the Tourists
Providing service to out-of-area visitors and local residents alike, the tourism and hospitality industries comprised 372,000 employees in 2011, representing one out of every 10 jobs in the county, according to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board’s Tourism Statistics. In recent years, tourism and hospitality added more jobs in Los Angeles County than any other industry.
In 2011, Los Angeles achieved a record high with nearly 40.4 million day and overnight visitors — an increase of 4.9% compared to the previous year. Statisticians predict 2012 calculations will hit at least 41.3 million.
Of those total visitors, about 27 million were overnight, which has increased by 3.3% from last year. The same survey calculated that 34% of visitors were domestic residents visiting with friends or relatives, while 25% were domestic residents leisure traveling and 19% were domestic business travelers. Additionally, 18% were international leisure travelers leaving 4% for international business travelers.
Even through the lingering effects of a recovering economy, there is still large-scale growth across Los Angeles’ tourism market. The strongest growth in international visitors comes from China, Australia, Brazil and France. Los Angeles’ top five international visitor generating markets are Mexico, Canada, Australia, the U.K. and China.
U.S. limousine operators serving the San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, New York City, Phoenix and Chicago should closely monitor Los Angeles visitation trends as they are the city’s largest domestic feeder markets.
It’s also important to note the spending habits among Los Angeles visitors, which could correlate to an increase in business for the limo, charter and tour market. Direct visitor spending totaled $15.4 billion in 2011, a 6.4% increase compared to 2010, and also a record high.