Los Angeles Disappoints Tourists

Unfriendly and congested top list of tourist gripes

The city of Angels got spanked in Travel and Leisure magazine's newly posted survey of tourists rating 25 U.S. cities. They ranked Los Angeles dead last in five categories, including congestion and public transit. Even Angelenos gripe about traffic. Harder to swallow was being rated "least friendly" and "least intelligent." City officials,including council member Tom LaBonge, took exception to Los Angeles being ranked last in public safety. LaBonge noted that under Police Chief William Bratton, LA's crime rate has dropped significantly in recent years. Travel and Leisure, in conjunction with CNN Headline News, said the results represent the viewpoints of some 600,000 travelers. Though overall they did not seem to think much of LA, they do like its style (ranking it fourth) and its luxury shoppng (3rd). But when it came to cleanliness, L-A finished second to last, besting only New Orleans (in its post Katrina but pre-Gustav state). "LA could be cleaner, observed Robert House of Darby, England, as he and his wife perused Hollywood's Walk of Fame. But his wife Claire took issue with the survey dissing the friendliness and itelligence of locals. "That's a bit unfair!" she told Channel-4 News Reporter Patrick Healy as he conducted an informal poll on the stretch of Hollywood Blvd that includes the Chinese Theater and the Hollywood and Highland center. Visiting from Venezuela with her family, Carmen Cartio also stood up for LA. "I think it has beautiful places to visit," she said. Jen Gabbert of North Hollywood agreed: "LA's the greatest city in the world!" Perhaps, but 600,000 tourists remain to be convinced.

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