The region is on track to greet 50 million visitors a year, and these visitors spent more than $18 billion in our economy this year. At the same time, the hospitality and tourism industry also serves our 10 million local residents.
Hospitality and tourism are at the heart of the Los Angeles economy – with the storybook history of Hollywood, and the bright future of the many restaurants and shopping venues popping up throughout the county. The industry includes hotels, amusement parks, passenger car rental, travel arrangement services and more.
Key Facts About LA County’s Hospitality & Tourism Industry
- Why do people visit Los Angeles?
- Entertainment! Los Angeles is indisputably the entertainment capital of the world, and a place that people from all walks of life and from all nations wish to experience. Tourists can walk with the famous and infamous on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and in front of the TCL Chinese Theatre, intrepid souls can step into the footprints of luminaries of the film industry, including Judy Garland, Marilyn Monroe, Paul Newman, Al Pacino, and Clint Eastwood. The attraction of magical Hollywood brings millions of visitors to Los Angeles every year.
- The “Red Carpet”: To celebrate this historic industry, Los Angeles plays host to several galas, including the Academy Awards, the Golden Globes, Grammy Awards and the Screen Actors Guild Awards, bestowing honors on those having made notable contribution to the fame, fantasy and fortune that earns this industry its reputation during the year. These events attract thousands of visitors who line the red carpet for the opportunity to be within selfie distance of their favorite celebrities.
- The Performing Arts: The Performing Arts Center in downtown Los Angeles is one of the largest in the country and has significant cultural and economic impact on the local economy. Housed on 22 acres, the Center consists of the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, the Ahmanson Theatre and Mark Taper Forum, each featuring year-round orchestral, ballet, opera and theatrical performances. The region is rich with other performing arts centers, including the Pantages Theater, Ahmanson Theater, the Hollywood Bowl, the Greek Theatre, Geffen Playhouse, Royce Hall and others that provide a full spectrum of musical and cultural entertainment. Not limited to traditional performing arts and large acts, Los Angeles County is a music haven for artists, performers and aficionados alike. From multi-platinum artists playing at the Forum, the Staples Center and LA Live, to intimate acts playing at legendary locales such as the Whiskey A Go Go, House of Blues and the Viper Room to the revitalized Palladium and Orpheum Theaters, Los Angeles houses numerous venues for musical performances year-round, making the industry within reach of anyone who wants to play or listen.
- Cultural Attractions: Along with musical and theatrical venues, world-famous museums and arts centers of Los Angeles County draw millions of visitors annually. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Museum of Natural History, the Museum of Modern Art, the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens and the Aquarium of the Pacific, are the jewels in the region’s cultural crown. These will be joined by the Broad Museum in September, featuring thousands of contemporary art pieces.
- Rose Bowl & Rose Parade: Thousands of cheering fans ring in each New Year along Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. The Rose Parade is an internationally renowned event with spectacular floats constructed and decorated entirely with natural products. This single event attracts an estimated 700,000 participants and spectators from around the world, and is an advertisement providing picturesque vistas of California’s warm and welcoming sunshine in January that is beamed to a global audience estimated at 25 million viewers. The Rose Parade is but a prelude to the Rose Bowl game, one of the region’s signature events hosting college championship teams and their fans from across the nation.
- Sporting Events: From its world famous basketball franchises to its improbable hockey team to one of the most storied baseball franchises in American and the most successful Major League soccer team in the country, as well as the region’s famous university sports teams (the Trojans and the Bruins), Los Angeles boasts a bold representation of professional and amateur sports organizations. The NFL St. Louis Rams recently relocated to Southern California as well. Regular season games as well as pre-season and playoffs attract millions of visitors to local sports venues, including STAPLES Center, Honda Center, Stubhub Center, Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles Coliseum and the Rose Bowl. In addition to ongoing seasonal sporting events, Los Angeles hosts marquee events including the Santa Anita Derby and the Long Beach Grand Prix, and is proud to have hosted the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in July.
- Shopping: While here, visitors stream to our famous retail venues, including the Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica, the Americana on Brand in Glendale, the Beverly Center in Beverly Hills, the Grove in Los Angeles, Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, and the iconic and historic Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Visitors from around the world revel in the retail experience at these famous locales, which are often used as backdrops on television shows and movies. From designer boutiques to the bustling Fashion District in downtown Los Angeles to ethnic bazaars, Los Angeles is one of the most famous shopping locales in the world and is named by Fodor’s Travel as one of the 15 best shopping cities in the world alongside Dubai, Paris, Tokyo and New York.
- Business: Not content to be a mere place of fun and excitement, Los Angeles County is a place a conduct serious business. With an economy larger than most countries, the region boasts unparalleled economic and commercial activity. The tech hub in Silicon Beach and the LA Cleantech Incubator along with research and development occurring at our leading research universities and cutting edge research conducted at JPL and SpaceX among others attract the most advanced scientists and thinkers in the world. In 2013, the County welcomed more than 5 million overnight business travelers, including 1 million convention delegates to such notable events as the LA Auto Show, SIGGRAPH, ANIME Expo and E3 Expo.
- Theme Parks: Universal Studios is a theme park dedicated to the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. With an estimated attendance of nearly 7.1 million in 2015, it was the ninth most visited theme park in North America. Visitors are given the opportunity to go behind the scenes of film and television on their Studio Tour, in addition to enjoying epic blockbuster themed rides. The successful integration of big name movies and their characters into rides and attractions will continue to draw visitors from around the world.
Six Flags Magic Mountain, the theme park occupying over 260 acres in Valencia, boasts over 100 rides, including 19 roller coasters—the most roller coasters found in a single theme park worldwide. In 2015, the park had an estimated 3.1 million visitors ranking it eighteenth in attendance in North America. The recently added Full Throttle was built to feature the world’s tallest vertical loop at 160 feet. The fun will continue with the addition in Spring 2015 of Twisted Colossus, new wood-steel hybrid roller coaster incorporating new track technology into the old iconic wooden coaster whose maiden voyage took place 37 years ago.
- More: Beaches, ski slopes, mountain trails, Mediterranean clime, sunshine virtually year round, Universal CityWalk, Hollywood and Vine, creativity, enthusiasm and open arms. There’s a lot to love about LA.