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Tourism in Los Angeles expected to climb this year

May 07, 2011|By Hugo Martín, Los Angeles Times

The tourism industry in Los Angeles continues to rebound from the recession, with a projected 2% increase in visitors expected in 2011, according to the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bureau President Mark Liberman predicted Friday that Los Angeles would host 26.3 million overnight visitors this year, compared with 25.7 million in 2010.

The number of visitors to Los Angeles dropped to 23.8 million in 2009 from the 2007 peak of 25.9 million.

"We're forecasting that Los Angeles will welcome more visitors in 2011 than it has in more than a decade," Liberman said.

He said tourism remains the region's largest industry, predicted to generate nearly $14 billion in direct spending this year and support 450,000 jobs.

International visitors represent about 20% of the city's tourists but generate 35% of tourist spending. In 2010, the number of international visitors jumped 18%, led by tourists from Australia, Britain and Japan. Liberman said he expected international visitor numbers to rise again this year.

Hotel occupancy rates, which were about 64% in 2009, should exceed 70% this year, the bureau said.

hugo.martin@latimes.com

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