The western U.S. city of Los Angeles welcomed record 1.1 million Chinese visitors in 2017, the authorities said Wednesday.
This was heard at an event at the Los Angeles international airport as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board President & CEO Ernest Wooden Jr. announced that the city of L.A. welcomed a record number of visitors in 2017 for the seventh consecutive year.
"As our number one overseas international market, China once again played a significant role in achieving our seventh consecutive year of record tourism in Los Angeles with 1.1 million visitors," said Wooden.
"In the last year, we expanded our marketing efforts there with the opening of our fourth tourism office expanding our footprint southwest to Chengdu and we will continue to seek new opportunities there to grow our market share," he told Xinhua.
"We also teamed with our partners Los Angeles World Airports to secure direct air service from under-served second-tier cities like Shenzhen and Xiamen, where there is enormous opportunity for growth," he said.
"We are forecasting strong growth from China for the foreseeable future and will continue to promote Los Angeles to ensure it remains a top destination of choice for all Chinese travelers," he added.
Los Angeles had become the first ever U.S. city destination to receive more than one million Chinese visitors in one year, according to a report released by Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board in January 2017.
It's a big success for the city to attract a steadily growing stream of Chinese visitors with a 6 percent year-over-year increase in 2017.
At the event, the two Los Angeles tourism promoters said that Los Angeles welcomed 48.3 million visitors in 2017, a new record for the seventh consecutive year.
The record figure is 1.0 million visitors higher than 2016's total, an increase of 2.2 percent, driven by an all-time high 41.2 million domestic visitors and an all-time high 7.1 million international visitors.
"The expansion of our travel and tourism sector tells the story of a city whose moment has arrived -- and we will continue pushing forward as we expand our role on the world stage, and prepare to welcome the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2028," said Garcetti.
Los Angeles tourism authorities launched an initiative called "Everyone is Welcome" in 2017 which reinforced the city's cultural diversity and inclusivity.
Tourism is among the largest and healthiest contributors to the Los Angeles economy, supporting more than 517,000 jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector last year.
Visitors are expected to generate at least 300 million U.S. dollars in transient occupancy tax collections for Los Angeles in 2017.