Las Vegas is a key gaming and MICE destination… but now, it’s so much more

With 42.9 million visitors in 2016 – yet again a new record – Las Vegas is considered one of the premium travel destinations in the world – for many types of tourism, with gambling now far from being the key attraction. We met recently in Las Vegas with Michael Goldsmith, Vice President of International Marketing, LVCVA for an update…

The rise in visitors from international markets has been very important since the recession, with record numbers the last couple of years – not just in international visitors, but overall. We are on target to reach a new record this year as well, and international visitors remain a focus of our efforts. They of course stay longer, spend more and plan further in advance. Our largest inbound markets are Canada, Mexico and the UK. We are seeing a lot of growth from the Paci c region – China and Australia. Our major markets in Europe are Germany and France.

The Convention Center is getting a big boost. Can you tell us a little more about that?
We are a little bit different from most DMOs because we also own and operate this convention facility. Our board of directors has just approved an addition of around 56,000 square metres, which is a significant increase. MGM Grand has announced additional space, and Station Casinos are investing signi cantly in expansion. The Aria is changing and expanding and adding more convention space. In Las Vegas, we are our own greatest competition, because the expectation and service levels are so good here.

How is promotion of Las Vegas evolving?
Distribution channels are changing. We’ve always talked about what there is to do in Las Vegas and how the destination makes people feel. We are now communicating differently, using a lot more digital, because the way people consume information is different today. The messaging hasn’t really changed though over the past decade. ‘What happens here stays here’ continues to evolve, but it remains the core component. What’s changed is the distribution, as the way people purchase travel has changed. Consequently, everything we do is optimised for mobile and online.


Photo: Michael Goldsmith, Vice President, International Marketing, LVCVA