New York and Los Angeles set visitor records in 2018, and
despite concerns about the slowing growth in inbound visitation, both
saw increases in international travelers.
A record 65.2 million visitors went to the Big Apple in
2018, 13.5 million that were international. Of Los Angeles' record 50 million
visitors, 7.5 million were international, up 3.6%.
Apparently, the trade war with China did not dampen Chinese
visitation to the two cities. Visitation to Los Angeles grew 6.9% to an
all-time high of 1.2 million visitors, making it the top U.S. city for Chinese
travelers. And 1.1 million of New York's visitors were from China, up slightly
Los Angeles also enjoyed the highest-ever visitation from
Mexico with 1.8 million visitors, up 4% after a slight decrease in 2017. Canadian
visitation to L.A. jumped to 780,000, up 4.5%.
For New York and Los Angeles, 2018 marked the ninth and
eighth consecutive year of tourism growth, respectively. The challenge will be
in keeping those streaks going into 2019.
NYC & Company, the city's tourism marketing arm, already
predicts that more than 67 million visitors will visit New York City in 2019, a
year during which the U.S. Travel Association recently said that international
travel growth would fizzle to 1% for the first five months, a drop from 3.8%
growth for the same period in 2018.
U.S. Travel cited rising trade tensions, softening global
growth and the increase in the value of the dollar against other currencies as