Los Angeles welcomed a record 50 million visitors in 2018, reaching the destination’s tourism target two years early.

Last year’s figure is 1.5 million higher than 2017’s total – representing a year-on-year rise of 3%, and marking the eighth consecutive year of tourism growth for Los Angeles.

There were about 42.5 million domestic visitors and 7.5 million international visitors last year – both record totals.

Visitors directly spent an estimated $24 billion in the local economy, which was another record.

The UK is LA’s fifth largest overseas market, with 382,000 visitors in 2018, up by 3%.

Ernest Wooden Jr., president and chief executive of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, said: “The 50-million milestone was set in 2013 as a north star goal for the tourism industry, but our unwavering focus on its significant community impact and tangible economic benefits seamlessly transformed it into a civic rallying cry for all of Los Angeles.”

The growth is attributed to several factors including rising capacity at the city’s international airport and hotels; its reputation as a culinary and cultural destination; and LA Tourism’s latest global campaign, ‘L.A. Loves’.

Mayor Eric Garcetti said: “Los Angeles is a place where everyone is welcome, and tourism strengthens our diversity, grows our economy, and supports good-paying jobs for families across our city.”

Pictured unveiling the record total, from left, Ernest Wooden Jr., Mayor Eric Garcetti, LA city council president Herb Wesson and council member Joe Buscaino.

News about Los Angeles’ record figures came as Chicago and New York also reported all-time highs for visitor numbers.

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