Los Angeles is arguably the most popular city in California.
But as travel bounces back, where do things stand in the city of angels?
We caught up with Adam Burke, President & CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, during the IPW event in Orlando, Florida to gain more insight on the state of LA travel and tourism right now.
The importance of international travelers to Los Angeles is incredibly vital to the destination Burke said, and the connections made at IPW will go a long way to help recovery.
“Honestly, it is so good to be back and to see this level of participation,” Burke said. “I think after the past few years being back in person, there’s nothing to replace this face-to-face, and for Los Angeles, International visitation is absolutely one of the most critical factors to our recovery. I think if you look back at 2019, we had 31 million overnight visitors and of those 31 million, one in four was from the international marketplace. But if you take it a step further, even though they represented about 25% of the visitor volume it represented about 67% of all overnight visitor spending. It’s impossible to overstate without the full recovery of international visitation we won’t see full economic recovery in LA. Being back in person with this many participants it really shows that we’re starting our comeback story in a big way.”
Additionally, Burke noted how much domestic travel has set the pace so far for where LA’s tourism numbers are at right now.
“We’ve certainly seen that domestic leisure has come roaring back,” Burke said. “The best example I can give you is we already know that for 2022, we’re anticipating 92% of 2019’s visitor demand. 2019, as a reminder, that capped a decade straight of record-setting growth. So, being back to 92% of visitor demand is incredible, but that’s still being driven predominantly by domestic leisure. So, we’re really looking to the international marketplace and professional meetings and events to continue to drive that recovery. The other thing I should say is the thing I love about LA, and it’s my adopted home of over thirty years now, is the experience is constantly evolving. I mean even during the pandemic, you saw this incredible new investment in infrastructure, in new attractions, in these incredible major events, so even if people haven’t been in LA in a couple of years, they’ll be astonished to see how much new there is to do.”
Given that the United States has now ended the pre-departure testing rule for anyone flying into the country, the international visitation numbers for LA are sure to skyrocket for the rest of 2022 and beyond.
Check out the video to see the full interview with Burke as he speaks further on all the new things to see and do in Los Angeles.
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