Visit Anaheim, the official destination organization for Anaheim, announced Anaheim welcomed 24.2 million tourists in 2017 (Source: CIC Research, Inc.). This year marks the fifth record setting year in a row for visitation to the Southern California destination. Preliminary reports show that more than 1 million extra visitors, equaling a 5.1 percent visitor volume increase, visited Anaheim in 2017 compared to the previous year.
Anaheim has experienced a 31 percent growth in tourism since 2012. The local Orange County economy positively benefited from the record setting year, seeing a 6.2 percent increase in spending by Anaheim visitors in 2017 compared to the previous year, totaling $8.62 billion dollars. Spending was spread across a number of sectors including hotel accommodations, which experienced a 1.7 percent increase in visitors.
“The numbers clearly prove the direct and positive impact tourism has on Anaheim and Orange County,” said Jay Burress, President & CEO, Visit Anaheim. “2017 was a monumental year for our destination, opening a newly expanded space of the Anaheim Convention Center as well the start of several new development projects. Tourism means an increase in jobs, revenue for small businesses and is a key spoke in our local economy’s wheel.”
Development projects have been on the rise in the destination with several highly impactful projects underway to sustain tourism for years to come. Most notably, Disneyland’s much-anticipated Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge and updates to Downtown Disney, which will offer Anaheim’s 24 million annual visitors additional entertainment and attraction options. Anaheim visitors will also be offered more diverse hotel accommodation options due to two highly-anticipated four diamond hotels breaking ground in 2017.
In September 2017, the Anaheim Convention Center’s seventh expansion, ACC North, was unveiled, adding 200,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and cementing the Anaheim Convention Center as the largest convention center on the West Coast. ACC North allows meeting professionals the flexibility to design unique experiences for their attendees from education sessions, workshops, galas, marketplace connections and networking events. Additionally, many of Anaheim’s most impactful annual conventions hit record attendance or grew in size in 2017, including NAMM, Natural Products Expo West, VidCon, California Dental Association, OC Auto Show and LuLaRoe.
Visitor Growth 2013-2017
2017: 24,219,000 (preliminary)