Record-breaking 45.5 million tourists visited Los Angeles in 2015

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A record-breaking 45.5 million tourists visited Los Angeles in 2015, according to tourism officials. (KABC)

A record-breaking 45.5 million tourists visited Los Angeles in 2015, according to tourism officials.

This figure is 1.3 million more than the previous year.

"We broke all records here in Los Angeles," said Mayor Eric Garcetti during a news conference at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday.

Tourism in L.A. has surged to its fifth consecutive year of record-breaking growth in 2015.

"Those 45 million folks spent almost $19 billion in our hotels, our restaurants, taxicabs, things like that," said Ernest Wooden Jr with the L.A. Tourism and Convention Board.

Of the 45 million, 6.7 million were international travelers last year. Noteworthy is the tourism surge from China.

"Ten years ago, China did not register on the top 10 of inbound countries coming into Los Angeles," Wooden Jr. said.

Two months ago, China surpassed Canada, contributing to more than 779,000 Chinese travelers in 2015 - a 13 percent increase and second only to Mexico.

"L.A. is open for business and we want you here," said L.A. City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield.

Visitors from South Korea also spiked - more than 10 percent from 2014.

Garcetti said Los Angeles is Korean-ready.

"Korean language facilities, Korean tours, and tours that are very much catered towards to what Korean visitors want to see," Garcetti said.

The tourism growth is supported by an $8.5 billion modernization program currently underway at LAX, including upgraded terminals and a rail system to move more passengers in and out of the airport.

"We're building an airport that L.A. residents can be proud of and one that will welcome more world travelers to Los Angeles," said Sean Burton, president of the L.A. Board of Airport Commissioners.

The record-breaking tourism numbers keep the city well on pace to reach Garcetti's goal of 50 million annual visitors by 2020.

Related Topics:
tourismtraveleric garcettibusinesseconomyLos Angeles
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