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May 21, 2013 / HMG Hotels

Los Angeles Tourism 2013: Hospitality Industry Statistics, New Construction…

Were you one of the more than 41 million people who visited Los Angeles in 2012?

According to the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, 2012 was a record setting year for tourism in the city of Los Angeles and the surrounding metropolitan area.

More than 18 million people live in the metropolitan area that includes the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, Ventura, Orange and San Bernadino. Los Angeles is the biggest city in the five county area. Other large cities include Anaheim, Long Beach and Santa Ana.

LosAngeles-economy-2013-oldchartWhy do so many people want to come to Los Angeles?

If sun, surf and the beach is your thing, you can find plenty of it in Los Angeles County. Beautiful beaches run all along the county’s 75 miles of coastline that stretches from Malibu to Long Beach.

With more than 300 museums, there is ample opportunity to learn about art, science and history. A few of the most popular museums include the Getty Center, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum.

Seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Graumans Chinese Theatre is a thrill to millions. You can also take a tour of the Paramount Studios and, in the evening, check out the nightlife on famous Sunset Boulevard.

There is always something exciting going on at the major sports and entertainment venues. In the downtown area, you can catch a Lakers game at the Staples Center or take in a live theatrical performance at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live. A few other popular places to see a big show or event includes the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Hollywood Bowl

A full year-round calendar at the Los Angeles Convention Center features industry trade shows and big expositions targeted toward a broader audience. Among the most attended events each year are the Auto Show and the Anime Expo.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

More than 60 million people fly in and out of LAX each year, making it the sixth busiest passenger airport in the world. It is the number one international gateway to Asia and the Pacific region. Direct flight service is provided from 88 domestic and 62 international cities.

Hotel Industry Statistics -evolutionmap2014Visitor count

Both foreign and domestic travel to Los Angeles improved in year-over-year comparisons. For 2012, a total of 41.4 million people visited LA which was 2.5 percent more than the number in 2011. Of those 41.4 million, 35.3 million were domestic travelers and 6 million were international travelers.

Domestic arrivals were up 2.7 percent compared to the previous year and international arrivals increased by 1.2 percent to an all time record. The largest number of international visitors come from Mexico and Canada.


In 2012, China, for the first time, became the biggest overseas market for travel and tourism in Los Angeles. That is great news for the local economy as the 460,000 visitors are, on average, bigger spenders than visitors from all other international origins. According to federal statistics, Chinese tourists spend an average of $2,652 on each visit compared to the average of $1,209 from all other foreign countries.

Hoteliers are learning quickly that the Chinese tourist may appreciate some reminders of their homeland like some favorite menu items, but what makes them want to come to visit is the chance to see all of the attractions and sights in America. Los Angeles is very attractive to the Chinese tourist because they can take a tour of movie stars homes, go to nearby Disneyland, watch an NBA game and absorb all of the diverse California culture.

Forecasts for the total number of visitors for 2013 suggest that the area will enjoy another banner year. The estimate for the year ending December 31, 2013 is 41.9 million.

Los Angeles area hotels continue to do well

According to the February, 2013 edition of Travel Pulse, a monthly publication of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, all of the important measures of a hotel’s level of success were up for the month.

February, 2013 saw hotel occupancy rates in the Los Angeles market hit 75.3 percent, an increase of 4 percent over February 2012 occupancy rates.

The Average Daily Room Rate or ADR for Los Angeles County was $135.98 for February of 2013. That was a 4.3 percent increase over the ADR for February, 2012.

Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR) in LA County broke the $100 psychological barrier in February of 2013, by ending up at $102.45. That was an 8.5 percent increase over the February, 2012 figure.

Over the last several years, there has been a noticeable improvement in business for the hotels, restaurants and other businesses connected with the hotel and hospitality industry. Travel and tourism is one of the key components of the area’s economy. Studies show that one in ten jobs in the city is supported by the tourism industry.

Aggressive marketing is expected to continue throughout the current year with the promotion of the popular LA Restaurant Week and the Discover the Arts programs. The city is reaching out internationally with new marketing efforts in Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Emphasis is being placed on international meetings and convention business.

New Hotels

Demand is strong for hotel rooms and a number of recently completed hotels and new construction projects are underway in the downtown area of Los Angeles. Hotels are being built around the LA Convention Center to help the city compete for convention business.

In 2010, two big hotels, the JW Marriott and the Ritz Carlton opened by the convention center. A number of new projects are currently under way or are scheduled to start construction very soon.

Marriott is working on a 24 story tower that will be duel branded with a 174 room Courtyard by Marriott and a 218 room Residence Inn. The two Marriott branded hotels will share more than 11,000 square feet of meeting space and over 5,000 square feet of restaurant space. As that project opens in 2014, construction will begin on a 20 story Residence Inn on property next to the 24 story tower.

Korean Air Lines Co. is tearing down the old building and putting up what will be the tallest building in downtown Los Angeles. At an estimated cost of a billion dollars, the Wilshire Grand will add some 900 hotel rooms, 400,000 square feet of office space and over 45,000 square feet of retail space to the center of the city.

The Portland hotel chain, which caters to the young and hip, is renovating the United Artists building and turning it into a 180 room hotel. It will include a 1,600 seat theater and is scheduled to open in the second half of 2013.

Looking forward

Los Angeles is making all of the right moves that tourists and travelers want to see. Aggressive marketing, both domestically and internationally, plus new hotel construction indicates that the LA market is very likely to continue to grow and expand. Los Angeles has always been a great tourist destination and the future promises even better things for the hotel and hospitality industry.

Articles/Photos/Graphics Copyright ©2013 – All Rights Reserved Hotel Managers Group
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