LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The number of tourists who visited Los Angeles went up in 2011, a 4.2 percent increase over 2010, and those visitors spent an estimated $15.2 billion.

LA Inc. head Mark Liberman says the rise represented “impressive growth” and good news for businesses that depend on tourist business.

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The increase meant more bookings at hotels, more people eating at restaurants and flocking to the city’s attractions and cultural institutions, he said.

“This is significant for the LA economy, as one of out of 10 jobs are related to tourism and the industry employs 364,000 persons.”

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The numbers also show more international tourists visiting than in 2010. About 5.9 million international visitors spent about $5.5 billion in 2011, a 12 percent increase in spending.

Among the foreign tourists, Australians were the biggest group, but 25 percent more tourists from China made up the largest year-over-year increase. American Airlines and United Airlines began service from Shanghai to LAX in April and May. Air China added a second flight from LAX to Beijing in September.

Tourists from Canada and Mexico increased by 13 percent and 4 percent, respectively. In 2011, 675,000 Canadians visited LA, a record high in volume for Canadian visitors to the city of Angels.

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