Chinese tourists have been making their presence felt around the world but one place they can’t seem to get enough of is Los Angeles, California.
780,000 Chinese tourists visited L.A. last year, spending more than $1.1 billion. Last year also marked the first year that China overtook Canada as the city’s second-largest source of international tourists.
Los Angeles has long promoted itself as a tourist destination in China, and was the first city in the world to open a tourism office in the country in 2006. At the time, China was not even in the top 10 of international visitors to Los Angeles.
“Chinese visitors are spending more money than others, and they are staying longer,” said Ernest Wooden Jr, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Tourism and Convention Board. “They are one of our best visitors, and that’s why we have such a focus on our marketing efforts in China.”
To that end, aggressive marketing efforts called “China Ready” and “Nihao China” are currently targeting cities like Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou in order to boost numbers even more.
Lisa Pisaturo, director of international and domestic tourism sales at Universal Studios Hollywood, said she expects the number of Chinese tourists to continue to grow.
“We experienced double-digit growth over the last year, so that’s an indication to us that it hasn’t really affected the groups that are traveling,” she said. “The middle class and affluent Chinese families may spend less on shopping, but it sounds like, from everything we hear, that there are still big groups that will be traveling.”
In 2014, about 7,000 Chinese tourists visited Orange County in an eight day trip, breaking records at the time. The event was estimated to have earned $85 million for the Anaheim area in which the 7,000 attendees had filled 13,000 to 14,000 hotel room at some 30 area hotels.
Even Los Angeles fashion brands like Sharpe have now Chinese fans: The Cover of the prestigious Shanghai Travelers’ Club magazine of this month’s issue (March 2016) is about Sharpe and features a full story about this brand created by Leon Wu in Los Angeles.
Source: Charles Liu, The Nanfang & China Daily / Chinese tourists blog