Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Travel Guru Ranks Los Angeles As Nation's Hottest Destination

Lonely Planet Tuesday ranked Los Angeles third in its "Top 10 Cities" list of the world's hottest destinations for the year ahead.

"With more museums and theaters than any other U.S. city, L.A. has been gaining steam as a cultural destination," said Lonely Planet Editorial Director Tom Hall.

"While it's far from a surprising travel destination, the 2016 Metro expansion has made it easier to get around than ever before, and there are dozens of new hotels in the works -- great reasons for travelers to pay a visit in 2017."

Los Angeles follows Bordeaux, France, and Cape Town, South Africa, and is the highest-ranked city in the Americas on the list -- ahead of Merida, Mexico (No. 4) and Portland, Oregon (No. 10).

The other cities in the top 10 are Ohrid, Macedonia (No. 5); Pistoia, Italy (No. 6); Seoul, South Korea (No. 7); Lisbon, Portugal (No. 8); and Moscow, Russia (No. 9).

In its description of Los Angeles, Lonely Planet says: "Despite its reputation as a land of celebrities, health fanatics and all-around superficiality, L.A. has been gaining steam as a cultural destination while becoming more accessible than ever. The 2016 Metro expansion has made getting from Downtown to Santa Monica and everywhere in between much easier; city initiative Car Free LA helps tourists navigate without wheels; and almost 50 new hotels are in the works.

This isn't just a beach town, either; it's a commerce capital, where movie producers and finance types mingle over sashimi and kale salads. East Coasters are moving here in droves for the sunshine and a more sustainable lifestyle."

The "best cities" list is part of the guidebook publisher's annual "Best in Travel" collection of destinations, trends and experiences for travelers in the year ahead.

Don Skeoch, chief marketing officer for Discover Los Angeles, which is part of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, said 2015 "was our fifth consecutive year of record-breaking tourism, as we welcomed 45.6 million visitors from around the globe, and 2016 is pacing to be yet another banner year."

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