LA top destination for Chinese tourists

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Los Angeles, Jan 12 (IANS) Over one million Chinese visited Los Angeles in 2016, making the Tinseltown their No.1 tourist destination in the US.

Los Angeles has become the first ever American city to receive more than one million Chinese visitors in one year, Xinhua news agency reported citing US officials. 

The year 2016 was a big year for LA's tourism industry. 

Besides reaching the mark of one million Chinese visitors, both the city's domestic and international visits reached an all-time high, according to a report released by Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (LA Tourism). 

Last year, total domestic visits to LA reached 40.2 million -- a 3.8 percent increase over 2015. 

An additional 7.1 million international visitors also made the second largest city of the United States their ultimate destination -- a 3.5 percent rise over the previous year, statistics showed.

"Tourism is booming in Los Angeles, and it's helping to drive our whole city's economy forward," said LA Mayor Eric Garcetti.

LA also plans to attract more tourists in the future, especially Chinese tourists.

In 2016, China was the second largest international market for LA after Mexico. 

China accounted for 75 percent of the destination's overall growth of international tourism and the number of Chinese visitors grew nearly 22 percent -- the seventh consecutive year of at least 20 percent visitation growth from that country.

Buoyed by Chinese visits, LA tourism will open its fourth office in China's Chengdu -- also called "Land of Pandas". 

Offices of LA tourism already exist at Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. 

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