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NEWS Last modified on January 8, 2015

Record-breaking year in Los Angeles for traffic and tourism

Los Angeles had a record-breaking year in 2014 for passenger traffic at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and tourism numbers into the city.

During the year, 43.4 million visitors made Los Angeles their final destination, while an estimated 70.7 million passengers travelled through LAX in 2014.

The announcements were made at LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal this week, where four additional aircraft gates recently became operational, bring the total to 12 new gates.

Dining and retail concessions in the new terminal’s Great Hall are also now open and providing travellers with breathtaking design, world-class amenities, and premier retail and dining collections curated by Westfield and the DFS Group.

Currently under construction, Westfield will debut a new experience comprised of 17 new dining and retail destinations, cutting-edge design, and amenities in the Bradley Terminal’s departures and arrivals areas in 2015.

The mayor reports that in addition to last year’s record set for visitation – an increase of 1.2 million visitors over 2013 levels – tourism records also were set for the highest level of international visitors at 6.5 million.

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Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti also reported that LAX’s record 70.7 million passengers last year was approximately 6% higher than the 66.7 million passengers in 2013.

Of the 2014 total, an estimated 26.8% were aboard international flights – a 6% increase over the previous record set in 2013 of 17.8 million international passengers.

“The continuing, record-breaking growth and strength of tourism in Los Angeles is a shining light for our economy, creating good-paying jobs for our families, benefiting local businesses, and generating significant revenue for the city that goes toward the public services our city needs.

“Angelenos should be proud that our great city is such a desired tourist destination for visitors from across the US and around the world,” Mayor Garcetti explains.

He attributes the record-breaking levels to new attractions, growth in the International marketplace – particularly China, along with revitalized neighbourhoods including Hollywood and downtown Los Angeles.

Other factors he says include growing recognition of L.A as a hot culinary and cultural destination, and LAX’s current multi-billion-dollar modernization programme to improve international and domestic terminals, airfield, utilities plant, roadways, and other facilities.

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Mayor Garcetti also notes the opening of the Tom Bradley International Terminal in late 2013 contributed to new service in 2014 by Norwegian Air, Etihad, and Saudia airlines, as well as to additional daily flights on existing routes by several foreign air carriers.

Los Angeles board of airport commissioners president, Sean Burton, says: “LAX’s current multi-billion dollar, airport-wide improvements; continued revitalization of the airport’s dining and retail offerings with an additional 80 options that reflect L.A.’s culture, cuisine, and lifestyle; and other passenger amenities such as spas and children’s play area, are providing visitors to LAX with a significantly improved customer service experience.

“The major US airlines at LAX also are committed to passenger-service improvements by investing more than $1 billion (€843 million) combined to renovate their terminals.”

The more than $7 billion (€5.9 billion) LAX Modernization Program is creating nearly 40,000 construction-related jobs and pumps billions of dollars into the local economy, and is being funded by LAX operating revenue, concession revenue at terminals, airline fees, and airport revenue bond proceeds.

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