The San Francisco Examiner reports on a survey by Tripadvisor.com which states that "New York is America’s favorite city". Not entirely unexpectedly enough TA members voted the Big Apple as also the
“Friendliest and Most Helpful” as well as the “Least Friendly and Helpful” city.
However, the Financial Times reported earlier in the week that these rankings are subjective and depend on one's preferences and, more relevantly, that many of the ostensibly liveable cities such as Vienna, Austria and Zurich, Switzerland had fewer than half a million residents.
Nevertheless, rankings matter for perceptions develop around them and can help make or break businesses, including hospitality given its dependence on transient visitors that come to savor the best. Mercer consulting's quality of living ranking covers 215 cities and is "conducted to help governments and major companies place employees on international assignments. Curiously Mercer's ranking is based on a point scoring index where all cities are ranked against New York which is their base city with an index score of 100. In 2009 Mercer rated Vienna at 108.6, and Baghdad 14.4. The Economist Intelligence Unit also rates cities using a "liveability rating" and in its recent listing Vancouver, Canada was top dog.
None of the indices, with the exception of the TripAdvisor survey, seemed to have considered the quality and/or quantity of hostelry as a factor in their list. It can't hurt if the hospitality industry insinuated itself in the process by making itself more visible to the rankers.