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Aussies Push L.A. Tourism to New Heights

Photo by A.C. Thamer via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr
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Roughly 25.7 million tourists photo-snapped, food-spotted and Star-toured it through Los Angeles last year, up from 23.8 million in 2009. Yet of all the domestic and international visitors that spent a combined $13.1 billion on hotels, restaurants and theme parks in 2010, most came from Australia. That's a first, according to the Daily Breeze.Why are Aussies flocking to our shores? Though we'd like to think it's for our culture and our food and our uniquely LA vibe, we suspect it's not for our beaches. Expanded flight routes from Los Angeles to Australia have been credited with the surge in visits from down under last year.

Visitors from three other countries topped the tourism list for 2010 - tourists from China increased 80 percent, travelers from South Korea are up 54 percent and visits from Japan are up 25 percent.

Mayor Villaraigosa called the figures "impressive" and said "tourism is the city's largest and most lucrative industry, generating billions each year and employing countless Angelenos."

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