Record Year for Las Vegas Tourism

Southern Nevada welcomed more visitors than ever before in 2016, and they spent more than ever before, according to a new report prepared for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. They generated $35.5 billion in gross product, hundreds of thousands of jobs and $11 billion in wages.

Las Vegas welcomed a record number of tourists in 2016 and the amount of money they spent also set a new record.

Data compiled by local economic research and consulting firm Applied Analysis indicate 42.9 million people visited Southern Nevada last year, spending $35.5 billion―16.3 percent more than in 2015 when spending was $30.5 billion. Per person, Las Vegas visitors spent an average of $827, up from $721 in 2015.

Additionally, more than 14 percent of those visitors were convention attendees, an increase of 7 percent over 2015.

The information is included in a report recently delivered to the board of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

It found that annual visitor spending is equal to about one-third of Southern Nevada’s gross product—$35.5 billion, or 34.4 percent, of the total of $103.3 billion. Directly and indirectly, tourism supplied $59.6 billion, or 57.7 percent, of Southern Nevada’s gross product.

It also found that one in four people in Southern Nevada are directly employed in the tourism industry with total wages and salaries of $11 billion, or 26.2 percent of the $41.9 billion earned by Southern Nevadans across all industries.

Nearly half of those employed in the region have jobs because of tourism: 407,000 people, or 44.2 percent of the 921,700 people working.

However, the report warns that the region’s economy still lacks diversity.

“And that’s not because businesses are not moving here. In reality, the tourism industry continues to expand at such a clip that it’s hard for other industries to compete,” said Applied Analysis principal Jeremy Aguero.

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