(Relaxnews) – Los Angeles has been named the best destination in the US, mostly for launching a major tourism offensive for Chinese visitors that includes training hotels, local businesses and attractions on how to cater to their Asian guests.
That’s the synopsis of a newly released report from Resonance, an international consultancy group based in Vancouver that advises cities and governments on development strategies.
After examining major US cities from both business and tourism perspectives, consultants gave the City of Angels the top spot over New York, which ranked second.
Los Angeles was singled out for having set tourism records for the third year in a row in 2013, hosting 42.2 million visitors who spent $18.4 billion.
One of the biggest source countries? China, who just five years ago was a blip on the city’s tourism radar.
Last year, Los Angeles welcomed 570,000 tourists from China — a 21 percent increase over 2012.
And with the launch of an aggressive campaign called NiHao China (Nihao is hello in Chinese), the city hopes to become a major rival against its East Coast counterpart, New York, and become top of mind for affluent, mobile Chinese tourists with a goal of drawing two million visitors by 2020.
Likewise, rising cash flow in the city is spawning a hotel boom, with developments upwards of $1 billion that includes the building of a Wilshire Grand, a Waldorf-Astoria and the recently opened Ace Hotel.
The report also named Los Angeles the top shopping destination in the country.
For the ranking, analysts considered everything from the number of direct flights to and out of the city; the number of Fortune 500 headquarters; rankings on review sites TripAdvisor and Yelp for food, attractions and entertainment; and crime rate statistics.
New York was applauded for its ‘visionary approach’ to neighborhood tourism, drawing visitors from the city core into character-rich hoods like Brooklyn and Queens, and was named the top destination in categories like food and drink, places to stay and culture and performance.
Here are the top 10 US destinations according to Resonance:
1. Los Angeles
2. New York
3. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas
5. San Francisco
6. Las Vegas
7. San Diego