Leading entertainment cities from various perspectives

February 25, 2018

As the globe becomes a much smaller place thanks to greatly improved transport and connections between locations in different continents, destinations around the world are competing fiercely for tourist dollars, aiming to offer unique and unforgettable entertainment experience for their visitors. We take a look at how some of the established entertainment destinations are attracting visitors, adapting to changing demands, and looking towards the future.

London – Boasting the most top-flight sports venues in Europe

Although December 2017 employment statistics published by the UK Government indicated that the entertainment and recreation industry workforce has decreased in London, with over 30,000 fewer jobs in the sector compared to 2016, the British capital remains one of the most thriving cultural hubs in Europe. Sports feature prominently within that sector, but also in others that are showing growth and particularly in construction, as the British city continues to invest in world-class infrastructure and venues, making it amongst the most modern cities in the world in this regard.

The English Premier League is undoubtedly the most lucrative and followed soccer competition in the world, and as London is the home for five of the twenty teams competing during the 2017-18 season, the sport continues to generate huge revenues within the capital and remains one of the leading entertainment attractions, boasting magnificent venues where the beautiful game can be enjoyed. Each of the stadiums employs a small army of staff to stage-manage every game, while business around the venues also benefits hugely and especially so on matchdays. Arsenal opened its fabulous sixty-thousand capacity Emirates Stadium in 2006, while neighboring Tottenham Hotspur is currently replacing its tired White Hart Lane venue with a more luxurious new home, utilizing the Wembley national stadium in the meantime. Crystal Palace remains at its historic Selhurst Park, but West Ham United is now resident at the London Stadium, which was the central venue for the 2012 Olympic Games. Over the coming years, Chelsea will construct a brand-new stadium costing around $1.4 billion to replace Stamford Bridge, which is an investment expected to create thousands of additional jobs.

Las Vegas – Putting on the best shows in the world

Few cities around the world come close to Las Vegas when it comes to providing entertainment for the millions of visitors each year. Whether it’s of a more adult nature which spawned the "Sin City" moniker, or the gambling and gaming culture foundations on which the Nevada city was built, or the lavish and luxurious lifestyle guests can enjoy in the hotels, there’s never a shortage of things to see and do in a location that boast itself as being the "live entertainment capital of the world".

The huge investment in high-capacity venues and headline acts continues to bring tourists flocking through the doors, even if the basic concept is nothing new. After all, this is a city that was almost like a second home for iconic entertainment legends such as Elvis Presley, Celine Dion and Frank Sinatra. The city is synonymous with the biggest names in showbiz, as the biggest casino resorts in America aim to offer a wide variety of diverse shows. In Vegas, the average revenue per show for Celine Dion is over $540,000 and about $532,000 for Britney Spears, who has been playing at Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino for four years, according to an article published by Betway Casino. Since the doors opened in March 2003, The Colosseum at Caesars Palace became the leading venue to see world-famous artists amongst a wealth of stellar names. According to the same source, Canadian songstress Celine Dion is believed to have earned over $229 million by the start of 2018 from her performances during two residencies at The Colosseum, meaning she has most certainly hit the jackpot in Las Vegas.

Los Angeles – Millennials changing the face of entertainment

The vast urban sprawl of Los Angeles is arguably best known internationally for just one neighborhood in particular, with the Hollywood movie industry renowned for exporting blockbuster entertainment for the masses, around the globe. While other cities in the USA and beyond might lay claim to being entertainment hubs, the "entertainment capital of the world" slogan was first coined here, LA continues to remain the most influential hub for motion pictures, media, recorded music, and even video games.

Surrounding a movie industry that has never ceased to grow, even with the need to adapt to the demanding onset of the digital age. Across the globe, millennials are changing the entertainment industry with products such as YouTube enabling them to express their feelings to Netflix giving them a broad range an high quality of shows on demand, something that was not available. Where as locals and visitors alike appreciate the variety of entertainment options. However, millennial residents are driving the latest changes and trends in Los Angeles, according to American Express and Historic Preservation surveys in 2017, suggesting they are bored with the ultra-modern lifestyle and keen to rediscover more traditional forms of entertainment. In what is the most ethnic and economically diverse generation demographic, millennials are showing a preference to seek their entertainment in what they consider to be locations providing a more authentic experience, viewing historic preservation as integral to their sense of community, bringing regeneration of older buildings and rejuvenation in neighborhoods. In this survey, 72% said they preferred the experience of dining, shopping, and other amusements, at more traditional and historic locations throughout the city, rather than giant modern supermarkets and malls.

Al Qiddiya – Aiming to be the next entertainment capital of the world

Over the last few decades, Middle-East locations such as Dubai and Qatar have wowed onlookers around the world, with remarkable feats of modern architecture and civil engineering, building many of the tallest buildings and resort complexes. While the oil industry has been the economic driving force of countries in the region for many decades, they continue looking towards the future and alternative sources of revenue.

Tourism is widely regarded as one of the most important investments in the future, and in Saudi Arabia, plans for the Al Qiddiya project were revealed by Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017. Located to the southwest of Riyadh and covering an area of some 207 square miles, a brand new cultural, sports and entertainment city, will be established. Aimed at diversifying employment and investment opportunities for future generations of Saudis, this project will be the largest of its kind in the world, and the first phase is expected to be launched in 2022. Such is the enormous scale of the Al Qiddiya project, this new mega-city looks set to embrace cultural reference points from around the globe, and resemble popular international destinations such as Hong Kong, Hollywood, Las Vegas, and many others. Likewise, it also suggests this will be an entertainment hub that will make all others pale by comparison. If the scale of other projects in the region is anything to go by, this one may just knock everything else out of the park.

The numbers seem to suggest that revenues and investments in such huge entertainment hubs continue to be on the rise. Despite the emergence of digital entertainment, it seems that audiences are still interested in land-based options too, and cities like Las Vegas and Los Angeles will continue to make the most of it.

Article by Anna Santini

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