This week is National Travel and Tourism Week. Our Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board took the occasion to visit a City Council meeting and announce that tourism to LA is on the rise. In fact, it has reached record breaking heights.
In 2015 alone, 44.2 million people visited our great city, including 37.7 million from other places in the United States. In addition, 6.5 million international visitors came to the City of Angels to bask in the California sun-nearly a 6 percent increase over 2013.
What does all this mean to us? Great things for local jobs, continued economic growth and vital neighborhood services.
When people visit Los Angeles, our economy gets a big lift from outside dollars coming into our city. The lift was bigger than ever last year when visitors spent $19.6 billion, which generated $30.2 billion in economic activity, benefiting big businesses and small businesses alike.
Tourism also supports the public services that you receive and rely on each day. A big chunk of the $2.3 billion in state and local tax revenues generated came directly to the city to fund services-more than $200 million from hotel stays and tens of millions more in sales tax revenue alone. With LA's hotel occupancy at an all-time high of 78.9 percent, we're expecting $220 million in revenue this year from hotel stays. Those revenues support sidewalk repairs, park maintenance, tree trimming, public safety programs, senior programs, street repairs and so much more.
More tourism supports and creates more jobs, especially in the leisure and hospitality sector, one of our largest and strongest economic sectors. In all of LA County, tourism helped support 464,000 jobs, including 25,300 new jobs last year.
The San Fernando Valley is becoming a regular destination for many of those tourists visiting our city, with must-see locations like Universal Studios, well-known shopping destinations like Ventura Blvd., can't-miss murals like the Great Wall of Los Angeles, and new museums like the Museum of the San Fernando Valley and the Discovery Cube, among many others. With our transit hub in North Hollywood, getting to and from the heart of the Valley is easier than ever before.
Visit discoverLosAngeles.com to see the upcoming Valley events that the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board is showing off to would-be travelers. And take a peak around the website to find great stories about our neighborhood, like this article that rightly reveals Tujunga Village as a "Hidden Gem" or this one, a "definitive guide" to the San Fernando Valley. You can also keep track of other LA highlights on Facebook and Twitter.
I'm very happy that Los Angeles is taking its rightful place as one of the world's leading tourist destinations. And I'm ecstatic that our city is getting such incredible economic and neighborhood benefits from this tourist boom.