The figures applauded as an reinforcement of Los Angeles’ suitability to host the 2024 Olympics, the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board announced that the city welcomed 45.5 million visitors in 2015 – a fifth consecutive year of record-breaking growth and an increase of 1.3 million from the previous year. Said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said: “Los Angeles is a place where the world comes together for cultural experiences and celebrated attractions that cannot be found anywhere else. Our city keeps setting records in the tourism sector because we are investing billions at our airport, in mass transit, and other assets that are making LA more exciting and accessible than ever. This will be hugely beneficial to our Olympic and Paralympic candidature. The sky’s the limit.”
This continuing momentum in tourism reflects a period of booming growth in infrastructure across Los Angeles, including an $8.5 billion modernization program at LAX (Los Angeles International Airport), an additional 25 hotels being built by 2017 and $88 billion being invested in mass transit which will make moving through the city and region faster and easier than ever before. The transportation and infrastructure upgrades already underway in the city will form the foundations of LA 2024’s sustainable Games Plan. Broad Museum and the reopening of the Petersen Automotive Museum. Overall, Los Angeles welcomed 6.7 million international visitors in 2015 with a notable increase from China and South Korea. LAX was also confirmed as the world’s busiest origin and destination airport in 2015 (U.S. Global Investors).
Commenting on the rise in tourism, LA 2024 Chairman Casey Wasserman said: “The continued increase in the number of visitors to Los Angeles highlights the city as a global destination with a great diversity of attractions, experiences and cultures. Los Angeles can take full advantage of our many tourist attractions including our beaches, National Parks, Hollywood, Disneyland and plethora of museums, theaters, galleries and restaurants. And most importantly, our thriving tourism industry demonstrates that we have the necessary infrastructure to comfortably accommodate the world’s greatest sports event – the Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
This story first appeared in the blog, The Sport Intern. The editor is Karl-Heinz Huba of Lorsch, Germany. He can be reached at ISMG@aol.com. The article is reprinted here with permission of Huba.