City officials have cleared the way for the creation of a tourism marketing district that would help attract more visitors to the city. The City Council unanimously voted to support a communication from the Jobs & Business Development Committee to create the district. The district would require all hotels within the city that have more than 50 rooms—including those in the San Fernando Valley—to pay into the Los Angeles Tourism Marketing District assessment of 1.5 percent. While there are more than 470 hotels within city limits, only 161 have more than 50 rooms and would be required to pay the assessment, which would be passed onto hotel guests. The additional funds would be used to exclusively market the city on a national and international market. Creating such a district would increase the money the city has for tourism marketing to about $30 million, which more than doubles the marketing budget for LA, Inc., or the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Tourism is crucial to the economic stability of Los Angeles, but in order to compete for tourist dollars we need to invest in our marketing, and the creation of the Los Angeles Tourism Marketing District will allow us to do just that,” said Councilman Richard Alarcón, who chairs the Jobs & Business Development Committee. “In the wake of the tragedy in Japan, where the third greatest number of overseas tourists to LA hail from, we need to do all we can to ensure that we continue to bring in the tourists—and their tax dollars.” Councilwoman Janice Hahn introduced a motion in July that called for a report on the status of the tourism marketing district proposal. Hahn is the chair of the Trade, Commerce and Tourism Committee. The city’s current budget for tourism is $11.3 million and is substantially smaller than other large cities, including San Diego with a budget of $26 million, San Francisco with a budget of $23 million and Las Vegas with a budget of $94.2 million. Meanwhile, tourism is considered Los Angeles’ top number-one industry, and the city receives more than 26 million each year. The Los Angeles Tourism Marketing District initiative was spearheaded and voted on by hotel owners. More than 70 percent of hotel owners voted in favor of the district.