FILE: Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.
FILE: Little Tokyo in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by John Schreiber.

Tourism in Los Angeles is expected to reach record-levels this year, with more than 45 million people projected to visit the area by the end of the year, tourism officials said.

The number of visitors is expected to increase 2.3 percent over the previous year, according to data presented Thursday to the hospitality and leisure business community at this year’s annual Market Outlook Forum.

Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board officials said the number of domestic visitors staying overnight is projected to increase by 1.5 percent to more than 23 million this year.

The city will also see a 3.2 percent increase to 6.7 million among international visitors, according to the forecast.

Spending by visitors is expected to rise 5.2 percent, from $19.6 billion to more than a $20 billion, officials said.

“As one of the world’s premier travel destinations, Los Angeles is poised to once again reach new heights in 2015 following the momentum of four consecutive years of record breaking tourism growth,” L.A. Tourism President Ernest Wooden Jr. said.

He said the city is “firmly positioned to reach our goal of 50 million visitors by 2020, but it’s imperative there be progress with new and updated infrastructure and hotel development to showcase Los Angeles as a desirable destination to our visitors and accommodate the growth in visitation.”

L.A. Tourism also reported that hotel occupancy was at 79.6 percent during the first six months of the year, and expected to be 79.3 percent by the end of the year.

The city will also play host to 32 conventions in 2016, the most since 2001, which is projected to bring in about $430 million to the local economy.

— City News Service

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