Anaheim and Orange County Report Robust Visitor Spending in 2012
Anaheim, Calif. (April 3, 2013) – The Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, along with CIC Research, reported year-end visitor figures indicating that Orange County attracted 43.8 million visitors in 2012, reflecting a strong increase of nearly 900,000 visitors to the region.
Visitor spending in 2012 climbed 12.3% for a total of almost $8.7 billion, compared to just over $7.7 billion in 2011. The robust increase in Orange County visitor spending was driven primarily by the rising volume of visitors in OC hotels and the opening of a major visitor attraction (Cars Land).
Skip Hull, Vice President of CIC Research indicated, “2012 benefited from the improving economy and a major visitor attraction that helped to add nearly 1.5 million leisure visitors to the County and resulted in strong growth in visitor spending. The Orange County tourism outlook for 2013 indicates continued growth in visitor volume and spending for both business and leisure activities.”
Orange County is located in the center of the populous Southern California region and attracts more than 60% of its overnight leisure visitors from the western portion of the United States. International visitors make up approximately eight percent of all visitors to OC and 13 percent of overnight visitors to the county. Traditionally, international travelers stay in the region much longer and spend more money during their visit.
Anaheim, as the hub of OC’s tourism industry, continues to attract a major portion of Orange County’s visitors, as it is the home of the Disneyland Resort, the Anaheim Convention Center and Orange County’s professional sports teams. The tourism industry estimates for 2012 indicate there were 18.5 million visitors to Anaheim (from outside of OC) and they spent $5.2 billion dollars representing about 6% more visitors and 13% more spending than last year.
“The opening of Disney California Adventure’s Cars Land, coupled with economic recovery and the expanded JWA airport, all contributed to a higher number of leisure visitors to our region last year. Earlier this year, the Anaheim Convention Center opened the 100,000 square-foot outdoor special event space, the Grand Plaza with great fanfare. We anticipate continued growth and awareness of Anaheim and Orange County as a leading vacation and convention destination. In conjunction with our AOCVCB partners, we will continue to enhance our destination marketing efforts to both a domestic and international audience,” said Jay Burress, president and CEO, Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau.
January - December
Total Visitors (millions)
Total Overnight Visitors
Other Overnight Visitors
Total Visitor Days (millions)
Total Visitor Spending ($millions)
Daily Spending Per Visitor
Visitor Index ($ 1990 = 100)
Percent Of Spending
2011-2012 Percent Change
Lodging & Accommodations
Meals & Beverages
Amusement & Attractions
Other Spending (groceries/convenience)
Total Spending in 2012
* Spending includes all applicable taxes and tips; totals may not sum due to rounding. Source: CIC Research, Inc., "2012 Orange County Visitor Profile."
Primary Residence of Visitors to Orange County (all visitors to OC)
57% Southern California
15% Western U.S. (outside California)
8% Northern California
5% Southern U.S.
3% Midwestern U.S.
3% Northeastern U.S.
8% International Visitors
Source: CIC Research, Inc., Preliminary 2012 Orange County Visitor Survey, January 2013. (Totals may not sum to 100% due to rounding.)