Tourism in L.A. projected to climb in 2011
Bureau president Mark Liberman predicted Friday that Los Angeles will host 26.3 million overnight visitors this year, compared to 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," he said.
Liberman said tourism remains the region's largest industry, generating nearly $14 billion in direct spending and supporting 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 by 18%, led by tourists from Australia, Britain and Japan. Liberman said he expects international visitor numbers to continue to climb this year.
Hotel occupancy rates, which were at about 64% in 2009, should climb to more than 70%, the bureau said.
-- Hugo Martin
Photo: Tourists ride an open-top tour bus through Los Angeles. Credit: Los Angeles Times.