Southern California, and Los Angeles in particular, has seen a steep increase in Chinese tourists and investors compared to years past.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Chinese tourism in Los Angeles has nearly quadrupled to 570,000 visitors, up from 158,000 in 2009, according to a new report from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp (LAEDC).
A Chinese tourism board revealed that Chinese tourists spend an average of $300 more than other tourists when visiting Los Angeles for an estimated $1,392 per trip.
The Sheraton Gateway Los Angeles Hotel, in particular, has seen a sudden increase of 15% in Chinese travelers since it was purchased in November by a Chinese real estate developer, the Times notes. The hotel has recently struck a deal with a Chinese tour company that will have its headquarters within the hotel and has added a front desk clerk and two managers to their force, all of whom speak Chinese.
The LAEDC report shows that increasing numbers of Chinese are viewing the Southland as a prime area in which to invest and diversify their holdings, specifically in businesses such as real estate, green technology end e-commerce, the Times notes.
Exports to China out of Los Angeles are also increasing and have jumped to a 52% increase in four years to a whopping $25.3 billion last year.
It is no secret that Northern California has also been experiencing an influx in Chinese tourists and investors, particularly in the coveted Bay Area, where the Chinese buy and hold onto homes.
Reports have also surfaced of Chinese agencies in the Bay Area that have been offering expectant mothers from China upwards of $30,000 “maternity home” packages in which they can be housed in the United States so their children can be born as U.S. citizens.
According to the LAEDC report, “the futures of Los Angeles and China are inextricably tied together.”