Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (Discover Los Angeles) released a new economic impact report that shows tourism boosted the local economy in 2018, and with a record-breaking 50 million visitors—and a large number of visitors were meeting attendees.
“Los Angeles’ meetings and convention business enjoyed a strong year as the city hosted 25 citywide conventions that generated more than 284,000 hotel room nights,” said Darren K. Green, SVP of Sales for Discover Los Angeles.
Major conferences held in L.A. in 2018 encompassed a range of specialties, a nod to the diversity of L.A. and its meeting venues and facilities. Notable events included:
The announcement of a record-breaking year for Los Angeles comes 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.
Los Angeles Is a Meetings Hot Spot
Los Angeles hospitality teams are growing in record numbers to keep on pace with the demand for meetings, conferences and bleisure travel.
The tourism industry added 9,700 new jobs in 2018, and L.A. County's Leisure & Hospitality sector employed more than half a million people—that's 1 in 8.5 workers in the county, another record high.
The hotel industry also has grown substantially in recent years, in part to accommodate the needs of meeting professionals. L.A. hotels have added nearly 2,000 rooms to their inventories, and in 2018, Los Angeles County hotels set all-time highs for room nights sold (demand) at 30.2 million.
This growth is a win-win for planners and for L.A. More knowledgeable staff paired with additional lodging options can help reduce the stress of planning large-scale events, as well as generating $308 million in transient occupancy tax collections for the City of Los Angeles.
According to Green, “L.A. Tourism’s self-contained sales team generated a record year with a 20 percent year-over-year increase and more than 276,000 room nights booked for meetings and events in 2018.”
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Discover Los Angeles CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. confirmed the city's dedication to collaborating with planners.
“Our efforts ahead will place a greater emphasis on ensuring tourism delivers even stronger benefits to our community as we work toward increasing total economic impact to the Los Angeles region,” he said.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti noted that the community has no plans to slow down its efforts in the travel and tourism sector.
“Los Angeles is a place where everyone is welcome, and tourism strengthens our diversity and grows our economy,” Garcetti said. “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."
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