Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA) board chairman and Visit Anaheim president and CEO, Jay Burress, today announced that Orange County’s tourism industry has set a new record for visitor volume for the third straight year. An estimated 48.2 million people visited the county in 2016, a nearly 2 percent increase from the previous year and an increase of more than 11 percent over the past five years.
OCVA, which stewards “The OC” global brand and represents more than 700 tourism organizations in Orange County, reports that visitors contributed $12.1 billion to the local economy in 2016. This marks a 6.8 percent increase over 2015 travel-related spending. Job numbers saw a similar rise at 164,000, up from 157,000 the previous year.
“We celebrate these numbers as a sign that the future is bright for Orange County,” says Burress. “Major investments in visitor experiences and community infrastructure continue to enhance The OC’s already world-class appeal. While global events may curb our ability to break records every year, tourism is and will remain one of our community’s key industries, providing jobs for many tens of thousands and other economic, as well as lifestyle, benefits.”
OCVA president and CEO, Ed Fuller, credits the record-breaking numbers to collective countywide efforts to market “The OC” as a world-class destination, both domestically and in key international markets, such as China, Mexico and the Middle East.
“Our partners see the big picture,” Fuller remarks about its membership, which comprises eight destination marketing organizations (DMOs) and hundreds of Orange County hotels, attractions, retailers and restaurants. “While each organization has its own show to run, there’s a unique commitment throughout this community to working together for the greater good. Our partners’ leadership and financial investments have enabled OCVA to create successful global initiatives in five countries and open six international tourism offices, with more on the way.”
International visitors alone accounted for 4.4 million trips to Orange County last year, according to the report. Detailed breakdowns on domestic versus international visitor spending are yet to be finalized, but the numbers are expected to reveal higher per-visitor spending from international visitors, who tend to stay longer and shop more.
OCVA will offer a look at the results from its global marketing programs at the 9th Annual OC Tourism Conference, which will be held May 10th at the Great Wolf Lodge Southern California in Garden Grove. This year’s conference theme is “The Heart of California Tourism,” a nod to Orange County’s central role in attracting visitors and tourism-related spending to the Golden State.
About Orange County Visitors Association
The Orange County Visitors Association (OCVA) represents more than 700 members of Orange County, California’s tourism community and is the leading resource for visitor information about the county’s 34 cities. OCVA serves as steward of The OC brand, recognized worldwide as the home of world-famous theme parks, unparalleled shopping, 42 miles of pristine coastline, renowned beachfront resorts, and innumerable activities ranging from watersports to world-class performing arts. OCVA promotes the destination both domestically and internationally, with tourism offices in seven international cities. Orange County is located in the heart of Southern California and provides easy access to all the attractions the region offers. For more information, go to www.VisitTheOC.com or call the California Welcome Center at (714) 523-3441. Follow OCVA on Facebook (VisitTheOC) and Twitter (@VisitTheOC).
This article was a courtesy release.