1 mil­lion Chi­nese tourists vis­ited LA

China Daily (Canada) - - ACROSS AMERICA - By LIA ZHU in San Fran­cisco li­azhu@chi­nadai­lyusa.com

The num­ber of vis­i­tors to Los An­ge­les in 2016 from China in­creased by more than 21.9 per­cent over last year, mak­ing it the first US city to have more than 1 mil­lion vis­i­tors from China, city of­fi­cials and tourism in­dus­try ex­ec­u­tives said on Wed­nes­day.

The city also had a record 7.1 mil­lion in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors in 2016, a 3.5 per­cent in­crease over the pre­vi­ous year, and China ac­counted for 75 per­cent of that growth, Los An­ge­les Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news con­fer­ence.

In 2016, China sur­passed Canada as the sec­ond-big­gest source of in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors to Los An­ge­les, be­hind Mex­ico, ac­cord­ing to the Los An­ge­les Tourism and Con­ven­tion Board. It’s the sev­enth con­sec­u­tive year of at least 20 per­cent vis­i­ta­tion growth for China.

In 2017, the num­ber of tourists from China is fore­cast to in­crease 12 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to the board.

“As the en­ter­tain­ment cap­i­tal of the world, Los An­ge­les of­fers an end­less ar­ray of iconic ex­pe­ri­ences that are at­trac­tive to the Chi­nese trav­eler such as the Hol­ly­wood sign, Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Hol­ly­wood, Walt Dis­ney Con­cert Hall, Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard or see­ing the Los An­ge­les Lak­ers play at Sta­ples Cen­ter,” said Ernest Wooden Jr, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Los An­ge­les Tourism & Con­ven­tion Board.

Chi­nese tourists also visit to ex­pe­ri­ence the wealth of shop­ping op­tions that Los An­ge­les is known for, es­pe­cially lux­ury goods, he added.

“But Los An­ge­les is also more than just the en­ter­tain­ment cap­i­tal of the world: The city is a cul­tural des­ti­na­tion, boast­ing more mu­se­ums than any other US city. We find that 42 per­cent of Chi­nese trav­el­ers visit our cul­tural in­sti­tu­tions such as The Getty Cen­ter, LACMA and The Broad be­cause his­tory, her­itage and iconic mas­ter­pieces ap­peal to them very much,” Wooden said.

Ac­cord­ing to the lat­est data the board has avail­able, in 2015, Chi­nese vis­i­tors di­rectly spent $1.3 bil­lion in Los An­ge­les, the most of any in­ter­na­tional mar­ket, with the av­er­age daily spend­ing per visitor $212 and the av­er­age length of stay 7.3 nights.

There are 68 av­er­age non-stop weekly flights from China to Los An­ge­les, with a weekly av­er­age of 21,510 seats, the board said.

The tourism board said it will con­tinue to in­vest in the China mar­ket, and Chengdu will be­come the lo­ca­tion of its fourth China of­fice when it opens by the end of June, join­ing Bei­jing, Shang­hai and Guangzhou.

“Los An­ge­les rec­og­nized the vast po­ten­tial of the in­bound Chi­nese tourism mar­ket early on, as we were the first mu­nic­i­pal tourism mar­ket­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion in the US to open a full­time of­fice in China (Bei­jing),” Wooden said.

“Our ac­cel­er­ated mar­ket­ing ef­forts in China have pro­duced re­mark­able re­sults: in less than a decade, China has surged to be­come Los An­ge­les’ num­ber one overseas tourist mar­ket — from not even rank­ing in our top 10 in­ter­na­tional mar­kets 10 years ago,” he said.

Wooden said his board has been ad­vised to un­der­stand the nu­ances of Chi­nese cul­ture and the pref­er­ences of Chi­nese vis­i­tors, which are al­ways evolv­ing.

“For ex­am­ple, we have seen a


Ernest Wooden Jr, pres­i­dent and CEO of the Los An­ge­les Tourism & Con­ven­tion Board, speaks at a news con­fer­ence held on Wed­nes­day at Uni­ver­sal Stu­dios Hol­ly­wood in Los An­ge­les.

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