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Asia or No, Visitors Keep Coming

Report sees little impact from global crisis, noting that only 4% of state's tourists come from overseas.

November 06, 1998|STEPHEN GREGORY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Ongoing global economic turmoil is not expected to be a significant drag on California's tourism industry in the near future, according to a new report, which notes that 80% of all visitor trade consists of residents of the Golden State.

Only about 4% of California's tourists come from overseas, says the report to be released today by the California Trade and Commerce Agency. And of that, only about a quarter come from Asia, which has suffered the brunt of recent tumult in world financial markets.

The report, which will be presented at UCLA Extension's 10th annual Southern California Visitor Industry Outlook Conference in Anaheim, also says much of the remaining 16% of California's sightseers come from other Western states.

"What concerns us most is the economic situation in California and the Western states, and for now things are looking fairly good," said Tiffany Urness, who researched the report for the Trade and Commerce Agency's division of tourism.

Although tourism from Japan and South Korea has fallen this year, Gloria Lan, who packages tours for Chinese-speaking visitors, plans to tell the conference that travel from the Far East remains brisk.

"Tourists from Asia are still coming to Southern California in significant numbers, contrary to what you might believe if you follow the global stock market," Lan said.

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