Ed Fuller, Jay Burress

Ed Fuller, Jay Burress

Orange County Visitors Association said a study it commissioned showed tourism providing $20.5 billion in economic impact to the county last year.

The study by Tourism Economics in Wayne, Pa., connects OC tourism to 175,000 jobs—3% higher year-over-year—in food and beverage, recreation, lodging, and retail.

Tourism brought about 48 million travelers who spent about $13 billion; spending is up about 34% since 2010.

Tourism generated $2.4B in tax revenue, OCVA said.

About 40% of visitors to OC are from California and about 9% are international travelers. The latter accounted for about 20% of total tourism-related spending here.

“International tourism is a growing and important segment of Orange County’s tourism market,” said OCVA Chief Executive Ed Fuller in a statement.

Visitors, “provide substantial and distinctive economic benefits,” said Jay Burress, chairman of OCVA and chief executive of destination marketer Visit Anaheim.