By Nahrain John @karryontravel15 May 2017Visitors aren’t holding back when it comes to spending in Los Angeles, whether it be indulging in a couple of nights at a boutique hotel in West Hollywood, splurging on front row tickets at a Lakers home game or investing in a ridiculously fun day at Universal. They’re opening their wallets and spending freely so-much-so that visitor spend reached an all-time high last year of US$21.9 billion – that’s more than the price of purchasing a private island (specifically Charles Island) in the Bahamas. The increase of US$1.3 billion in visitor spend compared to 2015 comes off the back of a 1.7 million increase in arrivals to Los Angeles in 2016, and according to the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board (L.A.Tourism), contributed to the addition of 21,400 new jobs across the Leisure & Hospitality sector. Los Angeles County’s Mayor Eric Garcetti welcomed the contribution to Los Angeles’ economy by describing it as “only the beginning” for the city and its “thriving tourism industry”. “This is L.A.’s moment.” Mayor Eric Garcetti Ernest Wooden Jr., President & CEO of L.A. Tourism added that the milestone reaffirmed tourism as a “powerful driver of economic growth” for the destination. “We are thankful for each member of our diverse resident and hospitality community as their everyday commitment to rolling out our signature red carpet is what makes L.A. such a dynamic destination, where everyone is welcome,” he said. News of the surge in visitor spend couldn’t come at a better time for Los Angeles’ tourism leaders, who have spent the last few months launching preemptive marketing designed to tackle a forecasted 800,000 decrease in international visitors to the city over the next three years, which could result in a total loss of US$736 in direct tourism spending. When was the last time you lived it up in Los Angeles? Other stories you may like Weekly Travel Agent Bite: 17 May California is like an all-you-can-eat buffet: everyone leaves satisfied! Could this really have been the best Travel Agent famil ever?