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LA Tourism Leaders To Residents: Spend Your Money Here As Businesses Reopen

A man in a green T-shirt holds a guide book while using his phone to record a virtual tour of the beach in Santa Monica, with the ferris wheel and pier as his backdrop.
Adam Duford, owner of Surf City Tours, describes iconic sites in Santa Monica as part of a "virtual tour" via his Instagram feed in March 2020. The pandemic took a massive bite out of tourism here and worldwide.
(Robyn Beck
AFP via Getty Images)
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With L.A. County entering the yellow tier tomorrow, travel and leisure are back on the itinerary. And tourism leaders hope Californians will spend their travel dollars closer to home.

The pandemic gutted L.A. County's tourism industry.

Adam Burke, the president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board, says last year:

  • Revenues dropped 60%
  • The number of visitors fell by nearly in half
  • 180,000 workers in travel and tourism lost their jobs — about 33% of all industry jobs

He says spending money here will get more people back to work.

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"We are a demand-based business," he says. "It's not 'if you build it, they will come.'"

Burke told us demand is looking up, though.

"In January, Los Angeles hotels averaged 42% occupancy," Burke said. "Fast forward to April, that's up to 62% occupancy.'"

Oxford Economics says it will take until 2024 for the global tourism industry to reach pre-pandemic levels of visitations and spending.