AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREThe joys and headaches of holiday travel: John PhillipsThe number of Chinese tourists increased 41 percent in 2003-04 over the previous year. That number also grew by 26 percent in 2004-05 over 2003-04. Tourism is the second largest industry in Los Angeles, employing more than 260,000 area residents. In 2005, 24.9 million tourists visited Los Angeles, contributing $28.5 billion in total economic impact, including direct visitor spending, according to the Mayor’s Office. The mayor is set to visit Japan next week. Los Angeles will open a tourism office in Beijing, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa announced Sunday during his 14-day trip through Asia to promote trade. Saying the tourism industry is critical to the economic health of Los Angeles, the mayor said the office would market the city to the Chinese as an attractive business and leisure destination. “With the opening of the new tourism office in Beijing, Los Angeles is putting down a permanent welcome mat for the tens of millions of Chinese tourists who will visit our great city in the coming years,” he said in a printed statement. “More tourism means more jobs and a healthier economy.” Of the $12.9 billion in direct visitor spending in Los Angeles in 2005, officials said $78 million was generated by visitors from China, and Chinese tourists were the fastest-growing foreign-visitor group. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!