Daniel A. Tanner - Feb 18, 2013
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Las Vegas hosted a new high 39.7 million visitors in 2012, surpassing the previous record of 39.2 set in 2007 by approximately half- million visitors.

The year-end statistics of last year that the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) released indicated a recovery for the tourism industry with a surge in all the important core indicators. The president of LVCVA, Rossi Ralenkotter, said that tourism plays a key role in the economy of Southern Nevada as well as the whole state, so the positive signs of sustained growth for the industry are encouraging and a sign of great things to come.

He added that Las Vegas is in a good position to witness continued growth in the tourism industry for the year 2013 and on the path to welcoming above 40 million visitors since more than $2 billion has been reinvested in the destination.

The number of visitors to the state increased by 2.1 percent in 2012 compared to the previous year with about 800,000 visitors enabling Las Vegas to reach 39.7 million visitors per year, which was a new record. The industry of conventions and meetings recorded a gradual improvement with a total of 4.9 million delegates recorded to have attended a convention, meeting or trade show last year. This was a 1.6 percent surge over that recorded in the previous year. The total number of delegates in attendance at a convention or meeting in Las Vegas last year was the highest compared to the last four years.

In 2012, a total of 21,615 conventions, tradeshows or meetings were hosted in Las Vegas which was a 13.6 percent increase from that of 2011 which was a total of 19,029. The total recorded last year is the biggest number of conventions and meetings that have been hosted in Las Vegas since the year 2008.

The average citywide occupancy of the state increased to 84.4 percent for last year, a surge of 0.6 percentage. Compared with the national citywide occupancy of 61.4 percent, the citywide occupancy of Las Vegas is higher by about 23 percentage points. With an 84.4 percent occupancy for its 150,481 rooms, more rooms per night are filled in Las Vegas than in other tourism destinations in North America.

Compared to the previous year, the gross gaming revenue of the Clark County went up to $9.4 billion which was an increase of 1.9 percent. Las Vegas Strip saw its revenues increase by 2.3 percent to $6.2 billion while Downtown Las Vegas recorded a 2.5 percent increase to $509 million in 2012.

Another encouraging sign for the tourism industry of Southern Nevada is the creation of 23,000 new jobs in the industry since the recession of November 2009 when the number was at its all-time lowest. Today, tourism supports a total of 370,000 jobs which represents 46 percent of all jobs in the locality. More information about Las Vegas visitors in 2012 can be obtained later this spring once the LVCVA has released the annual Visitor Profile Study, comprehensive trends, behaviors, attitude and spending habits of those visiting the destination.

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