LA tourists helped spark $37B in economic activity last year: report

Countywide, hotel construction has been strong as developers look to meet demand for rooms

Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (Credit: Wikipedia)
Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills (Credit: Wikipedia)

A record 50 million visitors to Los Angeles County helped pump $36.6 billion into the economy last year, coming amid continued hotel development.

The tally represents a 4.9-percent increase in economic impact over 2017, according to the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, the L.A. Times reported.

Visitors spent around $23.9 billion in the county, but generated billions more in economic activity when factoring in spending by hotel, restaurant, and other tourism industry workers. Tourism-related spending in the county generated nearly $3 billion in taxes for state and local governments.

The hotel and hospitality business has been booming in L.A. over the last several years and developers have responded with a flurry of development projects. While the pace of development has slowed, L.A. is still adding more hotel rooms than any other part of the state.

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There are over 6,700 hotel rooms under construction in L.A. County. Eleven new hotels opened in the county last year. Investors traded $1.4 billion worth of hotel properties last year, down from a record $1.7 billion in 2017.

Home-sharing is also helping to drive tourism, although recent regulations passed by the city of L.A. and other metro area cities like Santa Monica and West Hollywood threaten to tamp down activity.

L.A. was the top destination statewide for Airbnb customers.

In terms of visitors, Mexico accounts for the most total, while visitors from China are the biggest spenders. [LAT]Dennis Lynch