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Las Vegas Tourism Annual Report shows increased visitor spending

6 April 2017

The Las Vegas Strip.

The Las Vegas Strip. (photo by Mark Damon/Las Vegas News Bureau)

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Visitor spending is on the rise in multiple categories including food and beverage, local transportation, shows and entertainment, shopping and sightseeing, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority's (LVCVA's) 2016 Visitor Profile Study. Additionally, 27% of visitors were in Las Vegas for the first time, an 11% increase from 2015.

"The Visitor Profile Study is a tremendous resource for determining the trends and visitor traits that are integral to formulating our future strategies for the LVCVA and our resort partners to market the destination," said Kevin Bagger, executive director of the LVCVA Research Center. "This year's study contains great insights into today's visitor, including that visitor spending is on the rise and there is a change in the visitor demographic. We're attracting more first-time visitors to the destination, and those visitors are younger and more diverse than in years past. We also saw growth in the number of non-gaming visitors. However, the visitors who did participate in gaming budgeted to spend more on gaming than in previous years."

Visitor spending is up on average across all key areas. Average per trip spending on food and beverage increased from $292.42 in 2015 to $319.93 in 2016, an increase of 9.4%. Also showing significant increases over previous years was average per trip spending on sightseeing at $35.93, up from $14.86 in 2015, and shopping at $156.91, up from $122.66 in 2015.

Additionally, in 2016 Las Vegas enjoyed record-breaking visitation for a third year in a row with 42.9 million visitors, and local tourism had an estimated local economic impact of $60 billion. For the 23rd year in a row, Las Vegas was named as the No. 1 trade show destination in the country by Trade Show News Network, with 57 of the 250 largest trade shows, which is more shows than the next two destinations – Orlando and Chicago – hosted combined. Altogether, Las Vegas hosted nearly 22,000 meetings, conventions, and trade shows, with a record-breaking 6.3 million delegates in attendance, up 7.1% from 2015.

Locally, tourism supports approximately 407,000 total jobs, or 44% of the workforce, and provides $16.9 billion in local wages. Without tourism, every household in Southern Nevada would pay approximately $2,700 more in taxes.

Other highlights from this year's study include:
  • Visitor satisfaction remains strong, with 99% of visitors saying they were satisfied with their visit.
  • Word-of-mouth advertising for Las Vegas is positioned well with 91% of visitors saying that they are "very or extremely likely" to recommend Las Vegas to others.
  • Compared to the past, visitors were more likely to explore in and around the destination, including Downtown Las Vegas, Fremont Street Experience, MGM Resorts International's The Park, The Linq Promenade, Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, etc.
  • Visitors took advantage of a broader mix of the ever-expanding experiences in entertainment (such as headliner and residency shows), and paid attractions (such as High Roller observation wheel, bars and lounges and day clubs) available within the destination.
  • The average Las Vegas visitor is 44 years old, is more likely to be married (70%), a college graduate (49%) and has a household income above $40,000 (73%).
  • International tourism accounted for approximately 19% of overall visitation, up from 16% in 2015, while roughly one-third of domestic visitors came from California.
  • A greater number of visitors traveled to the destination by air this year (46%) compared to 43% last year.
For more than four decades, the LVCVA has surveyed visitors to develop the annual Visitor Profile Study, which details trends, attitudes, behaviors and spending habits while visiting the destination. The report presents the findings from 3,600 personal interviews that were conducted throughout the destination during the year and includes comparisons to results from the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 studies.

To obtain a copy of the LVCVA 2016 Visitor Profile Study, visit the website.

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