Las Vegas Tourism Market Poised for Growth

Las Vegas ranks among the world’s top brands. Its reputation stands on its image and the tourism services it provides to 41 million annual visitors in the form of world-class resort hotels with gambling, entertainment, shopping, fine dining, and luxury spas.

Among U.S. tourism destinations, none boast the decades of expertise and infrastructure built into the fibers of Las Vegas. Its airport, McCarran International, ranks eighth in the world in takeoffs and landings, and the city long ago pioneered strict gambling regulations that are now the model for U.S. states and countries throughout the world.

More recently, Las Vegas has diversified its tourism activities and now serves as a destination city for high-end retail, fashion, fine dining, and entertainment venues and productions. Over the years, Las Vegas has also translated its tourism expertise into another business opportunity; it is the United States’ No. 1 destination for conventions.

Taken together, the Las Vegas region offers the world an all-inclusive tourism experience for a variety of U.S. and international travelers. The region, however, must continue to innovate if it wants to dominate the U.S. tourism market into the 2020s and beyond. Although such efforts are complex and ongoing, the market’s general direction includes:

  • A focus on international tourism growth. One-in-five Las Vegas visitors travels to the United States from another country, and its airport has been the fastest-growing international market for the past two years.
  • Major development on Las Vegas Boulevard, or “The Strip.” Recently, Genting Group broke ground on the $4 billion Resorts World project, a 3,000-room integrated resort casino with a Chinese-themed design and décor.
  • Investment in infrastructure. The Las Vegas region, which is located in the State of Nevada, anticipates major investments in transportation infrastructure to bolster and support goals of hosting more than 50 million annual visitors.
  • A new $2.3 billion Global Business District convention, office, and meeting center developed under the stewardship of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. The Global Business District also includes plans for a centralized transportation hub that would be the centerpiece to a new transportation plan for the entire city.

As the tourism industry continues to grow in Las Vegas, it must also capitalize on its advantages in the regional U.S. Southwest market. With low corporate tax rates, a designated foreign trade zone, and a high level of regional connectivity, the region stands poised to grow ancillary industries. For instance, the tourism economy makes Las Vegas a major importer of consumer goods with a large airport. That represents a growth opportunity to expand regional air cargo exports for parcels small enough to transport in the belly of passenger airplanes.

The future of tourism in Las Vegas is underway today in the development of diverse industries that complement the tourism industry. Many of the above projects will come online in the next decade, so expect Las Vegas to remain among the world’s major tourism destinations for many years to come.

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