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Chinese tourists boost travel to Los Angeles

By Li Jing (chinadaily.com.cn) Updated: 2015-01-15 13:23

Los Angeles announced a record-breaking level of international visitors for the city last year, led by inbound visitors from China.

In 2014, a record 6.5 million international travelers visited Los Angeles, a 5.6 percent growth over the previous year, driven by a 20.4 percent surge in Chinese visitors, according to the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board (LA Tourism).

"Los Angeles welcomed a record 686,000 visitors from China last year, an increase of 116,000 visitors over 2013, "said Lin Lin, an official from LA Tourism's Beijing office. "China has already been the city's No. 1 overseas market."

Last February, Los Angeles started Nihao China (Hello China), a tourism campaign to attract more visitors from China. The China-specific marketing campaign includes a Chinese-language website called helloLA.cn, and a shop LA campaign that looks to tap into the huge buying power of Chinese tourists. A "China-ready" certification project that evaluates tourist services in Los Angeles and trains Chinese-speaking tourist guides and local agencies was also launched.

In November, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti paid a 12-day visit to China, South Korea and Japan, pushing to increase tourism and investment in Los Angeles.

"Chinese visitors to LA are bucking the trend a little bit as the trend for most of the US is down slightly, but the year-on-year for LA is up 20 percent," said Ernest Wooden Jr., president and CEO of the LA Tourism. "My expectation over the next several years, as far as I can see, is that we will increase the Chinese visitors to LA by double digits."

According to LA Tourism, in addition to last year's record set for international visits, tourism records also were set for the highest number of travelers to visit the city - 43.4 million visitors made Los Angeles their ultimate destination, an increase of 1.2 million visitors over 2013 levels; an estimated record-breaking hotel occupancy rate of 79 percent, and most room nights sold at 28.04 million, an increase of 3.2 percent compared to 2013.

lijing2009@chinadaily.com.cn

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