Tourism continues to be Southern Nevada’s most vital industry, creating record-breaking visitation and unmatched economic impact in 2016. A recent study by Applied Analysis determined that Southern Nevada’s tourism industry continues to generate more economic activity than any other single sector of the region’s economy.
Tourism now generates an estimated USD$59.6 billion dollars for the economy, according to the latest Economic Impact Series presentation delivered by Applied Analysis at the March Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s (LVCVA) board of directors meeting. In 2016, the total impact of Southern Nevada’s tourism industry supported an estimated 407,000 jobs, representing nearly 44 percent of the total workforce. These jobs generate USD$16.9 billion in local wage and salary payments.
“We are dedicated to ensuring that Las Vegas continues to deliver a remarkable experience,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president & CEO of the LVCVA. “Tourism is Southern Nevada’s most impactful economic driver, and this report truly highlights the industry’s importance. The significance of driving record-breaking tourism to Las Vegas cannot be underestimated, and while we are uniquely positioned to deliver a top-notch experience now, we are also deeply committed to growing and continuing to deliver excellence in the years to come.”
In 2016, Southern Nevada welcomed a record-breaking 42.9 million visitors and the destination expects to break that high once again in 2017. Spending sourced to these visitors noticeably increased in 2016, with a total direct spending of USD$35.5 billion (or an average of USD$827 per visitor) an increase of 16.3 percent more than 2015’s total direct spending of USD$30.5 billion (or an average of USD$721 per visitor).
In addition to the growth in overall visitation, Las Vegas also reached an all-time record for business travel in 2016, with 6.3 million visitors in the destination for a meeting or trade show. Convention attendance was the primary driver for tourism growth in 2016, accounting for more than two-thirds of the total increase from 2015 to 2016. Convention traffic is critical to Las Vegas’ visitation mix as business travellers consistently spend more on non-gaming expenditures.
“Las Vegas is one of the world’s greatest destinations, and has become a favourite for both leisure and business travellers, which is no surprise to those of us lucky enough to call the city home,” said Lawrence Weekly, chairman of the LVCVA and Clark County commissioner. “Tourism has always been crucial to Southern Nevada’s economy, and we couldn’t be happier to see the record-breaking numbers from 2016, and anticipate topping those numbers once again in 2017.”
In March, Las Vegas was named North America’s number one trade show destination for the 23rd consecutive year, according to the Trade Show News Network’s (TSNN) ‘2016 TSNN Top 250 Trade Shows in the United States’ list. According to the list, Las Vegas hosted 57 of the largest shows held in America last year.
Las Vegas and the LVCVA are committed to maintaining the destination’s reputation as a leader for business travel. In October 2016, the Nevada State Legislature approved legislation to help fund the expansion and renovation of the Las Vegas Convention Center. The project will add 600,000 square feet of exhibit space, new meeting rooms and other amenities, as well as renovating the entire existing property. The project will continue to cement Las Vegas as North America’s premier business destination, allowing shows to grow in both square footage and attendance.
Applied Analysis was retained by the LVCVA to review and analyse economic impacts associated with its various operations and Southern Nevada’s tourism industry as a whole.