Southern Calif.’s travel & tourism industry provides big boost to region’s economy

Southern Calif.’s travel & tourism industry provides big boost to region’s economy

Travel and tourism industry of Southern California was a strong driver for the region's economy in 2015, Visit California's newly released report showed.

The report released on Monday showed that travel and tourism industry generated roughly $51 billion in visitor spending and supported nearly 441,000 jobs for the five-county region, which includes San Bernardino, Riverside, Ventura, Los Angeles and Orange counties.

The biggest growth last year, with tourism spending increasing 4.1 per cent to $11.3 billion, was enjoyed by Orange County.

Orange County was followed by Riverside County, L.A. County, San Bernardino County and Ventura County, which recorded growths of 3.3 per cent to $7.4 billion, 2.6 per cent to $25.9 billion, 2.5 per cent to $4.6 billion, and 1.7 per cent to $1.6 billion, respectively.

Caroline Beteta, president and CEO of Visit California, said, "We are looking at an industry that is about 2.5 percent of the state's economy. This tremendous growth indicates that growth in the industry will continue through 2016 and beyond."

Preliminary figures also showed that total direct travel spending in the Golden State jumped to $122.5 billion last year. The region hosted nearly 47.4 million visitors during 2015, and nearly 10 per cent of them were international visitors. That was up 5 per cent form the previous year.

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