3 Los Angeles

PopulationMetro: 13,353,907
Los Angeles keeps breaking tourism records, welcoming 50 million visitors in 2018 for the first time ever. In doing so, it accomplished the destination’s ambitious tourism goal two years early.

Enviable golden sunlight, effortless glamor, miles of achingly beautiful coastline, a diverse culinary scene, a dynamic cultural landscape and superior shopping… Is there anything Los Angeles can’t do? If there is, we can’t think of it. (And we’re not alone.)

Not long ago, Modernize conducted a study of 2.5 million Instagram posts and found that L.A. has the most Instagrammable sunsets in the world. On the other side of the coast, the classical music editor of The New York Times recently declared, “The Los Angeles Philharmonic is the most important orchestra in America. Period.”

No surprise then that the City of Angels lands at #3 across four Resonance categories: Place, Product, Programming and Promotion. And it’s even less surprising that everyone is heading west to soak in the sunshine and good vibrations.

While many U.S. cities saw a drop in international visitation last year, L.A. saw 3.2% growth. The “Everyone Is Welcome” campaign has positioned L.A. as a destination that’s open to all travelers. “Los Angeles is a place where everyone is welcome, and tourism strengthens our diversity, grows our economy and supports good-paying jobs for families across our city,” says Mayor Eric Garcetti. Last year, tourism supported an average of more than 547,000 jobs in the Leisure & Hospitality sector, one of the largest in L.A. County. “Surpassing 50 million annual visitors two years ahead of schedule is the latest milestone in our ongoing work to bring Los Angeles to the world, and the world to Los Angeles,” the Mayor adds.

Place 71
Product 67
Programming 48
People 79
Prosperity 48
Promotion 46

LAX is helping to bring the world to L.A. in style thanks to a $508-million renovation of Terminal 1, which was completed at the end of 2018 and features a modern, breezy Californian feel. Travelers can now eat and shop at 10 new dining and retail destinations and three L.A.-based concepts, including loved L.A. brands like Cassell’s Hamburgers, Trejo’s Tacos and Urth Caffe. Meanwhile, Tom Bradley International Terminal (TBIT) is getting an extension to the tune of $1.6 billion. When completed in 2020, Midfield Satellite Concourse (MSC) will feature 12 boarding gates, L.A.-centric dining and shopping options, airline lounges and other guest services and amenities.

Designed to complement the architecture of TBIT and connected by a 1,000-foot-long underground tunnel, MSC will feature a roof emulating an ocean wave prior to breaking on the shore. It’s also poised to become one of the “smartest” concourses, with automated biometric boarding gates and flight information display scanners that allow passengers to receive personalized maps on their boarding passes.

Tom Bradley International Airport

Mayor Garcetti recently broke ground on the Automated People Mover (APM), a train that will connect travelers directly to airport terminals and create new and convenient locations for passenger pick-up and drop-off outside the Central Terminal Area.

The historic infrastructure project will transform public transportation, reduce traffic congestion and deliver a world-class experience for travelers at LAX. Since Garcetti took office in 2009, unemployment has been cut in half and 212,000 new jobs have been created. Los Angeles ranks sixth in Connectivity and #17 in Household Income.

It’s not just the airport that’s getting a makeover. Neighborhoods, for which the city ranks #4 in the country, are in a perpetual state of transformation.

BIG's plans for a mixed-use complex in L.A.’s burgeoning Arts District

In recent years, L.A.’s Arts District has become a hot neighborhood with developers, including Fairfield Residential and Legendary Development, which are building a $215-million mixed-use complex on East 3rd Street. Hudson Pacific is similarly repurposing the Maxwell Coffee Building on Mateo Street into a creative office space, while At Mateo is a $32.5-million joint venture that will transform five large warehouses occupying a huge block at the corner of Mateo and Palmetto into an office space and open-air retail hub activated from breakfast to night. Rumor has it that Swedish audio streaming giant Spotify is planning to open a 100,000-square-foot office in the neighborhood.

In rapidly changing East Hollywood, a new 13,000-square-foot music venue is coming to the intersection of Vermont and Santa Monica, right across from the Metro Redline station. The Vermont Hollywood will fit an audience of 1,200 and book shows four nights of the week. New to the art scene is this year’s debut of Frieze Los Angeles at Paramount Pictures Studios. Originally launched in the U.K. and since expanded to New York City, Frieze is now set to become an annual cultural celebration in L.A.

Originally known as the LA Terminal Market, ROW DTLA is undergoing historically sensitive renovations and its buildings are being thoughtfully repurposed into creative offices, retail, restaurants and galleries. When completed, it will include over 100 of the most progressive shops and restaurants from across the city and the world—a new center, uniting food, fashion, creativity and innovation.