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Las Vegas conventions, tourism continue to grow post-pandemic

The Las Vegas convention industry and tourism in general continued their recovery last year from the height of the coronavirus pandemic, a report released today said.

Las Vegas welcomed 6 million conventioneers last year, a 19.9% increase from 2022, according to the report by Applied Analysis for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

The report, which looked at the economic impact of Southern Nevada tourism, noted total visitation increased by 5.2% to 40.8 million in 2023, surpassing 40 million for the first time since 2019.

There were 42.5 million visitors in 2019 before tourism slowed because of the pandemic.

Only 19 million visitors arrived in 2020, when the Las Vegas Strip was shuttered for 89 days because of the pandemic. That number rose to 32.8 million in 2021 and 38.8 million in 2022.

International visitation, which suffered because of pandemic travel restrictions, also enjoyed its best year since 2019, with a 39% increase to 4.7 million visitors.

Visitation last year was aided by the opening of two resorts — Durango Resort in the southwest valley and the Fontainebleau on the Strip — and the maiden Las Vegas Grand Prix in November, the report said.

Jeremy Aguero, principal of Applied Analysis, said F1 visitors spent a combined $500.6 million, with the race packing a total economic impact of $1.5 billion.

The Super Bowl, which was played at Allegiant Stadium in February, had net visitor spending of $606.3 million, with a total economic impact of $1 billion, he said.

Convention attendees combined to spend $9.1 billion, supporting 43,910 jobs and $2.4 billion in wages, the report said.

Overall spending by visitors grew 14.7% from 2022 to an all-time high of $51.5 billion, with the average visitor spending $1,261. By comparison, visitors spent $867 on average in 2019.

The most significant increase in spending came in the area of shopping, which increased 27.3% from 2022 to $249. Sightseeing enjoyed the second-highest bump in spending, going from $32 to $47 per person. Gambling, meanwhile, declined from 21.4% of the spending share in 2022 to 19.6% in 2023.

Convention visitors, the analysis found, spent $1,520 per trip on average, or 25% more than leisure visitors, the report found.

Those convention visitors play a prominent role during the week, when overall visitation is slower than on weekends.

The boost in visitation helped bring tourism job totals back to 2019 levels.

In 2023, there were 379,630 jobs in the tourism sector — resorts, bars, nightclubs, taxi operators and sightseeing companies —a 0.7% increase from 2019.

Tourism accounts for 34.6% of Southern Nevada’s employment, and as of last year, resorts employed 136,650 workers, a 2.1% increase from 2019, the report said.

Those workers combined to earn $13.8 billion in direct wages in 2023, a 10% increase from 2022, the report said.


Source: Las Vegas Sun

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