Tourism thriving in Los Angeles, state report says

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- Tourism is thriving in Los Angeles, according to a new state report.

The California Travel and Tourism Commission said spending by tourists in Los Angeles County jumped nearly 5 percent last year. The report found that almost 46 million tourists visited the county last year and contributed nearly $21 billion to the local economy.

That spending also generated $2.5 billion in state and local tax revenue - about a fifth of the entire state's tourism tax revenue.

Tourists say they come to Los Angeles for the beaches, the Hollywood stars, the food and the theme parks, among other draws.

"What better place to come to than California. LA - you know, warm weather, beaches," said tourist Bob Marden from Indiana, on a visit to the Hollywood area.

The LA food scene also continues to win recognition.

The prestigious James Beard Awards counted several Los Angeles-area chefs among this year's winners at its awards gala in Chicago. The award for Outstanding Chef went to Suzanne Goin of Lucques restaurant on Melrose Avenue and Outstanding Pastry Chef went to Dahlia Narvaez of Osteria Mozza, also on Melrose.

Additionally, the Best Chef: West award went to John Shook and Vinny Dotolo of Animal restaurant on Fairfax Avenue.

But not every hungry tourist is drawn to the high-end eateries.

"I want to go to In-N-Out," said tourist Luyza Santos of Brazil. "Everybody says it's really famous."
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