The near-iconic phrase “what happens in Vegas….” must be resonating with consumers because the Las Vegas tourism industry is showing signs of a steady recovery, with officials forecasting 39 million visitors in 2011, only the second time in history they will reach that mark.
Through the third quarter of 2011, the Nevada city has experienced 19 consecutive months of growth in visitor volume and the average daily room rate. Occupancy at Las Vegas properties has increased more than 4 points to 85.2 percent, more than 20 points ahead of the national average.
The growth is expected to continue in 2012, says Vince Alberta, vice president of public affairs for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
“The ‘What Happens Here, Stays Here’ branding campaign will continue to be a core element of our marketing efforts,” Alberta tells Marketing Daily. “We plan to double our marketing efforts overseas and execute consumer research and ad campaigns in key markets.”
Due to the strength of the tourism economy, the authority developed a three-year business plan that outlines aggressive strategies to further expand the Las Vegas tourism market. The plan promotes growth by targeting key market segments, specifically international and business travel.
International travelers make up 18% of overall visitation in Las Vegas. The goal is to increase the market share to 30% over the next decade. The authority also has committed $5 million in enhancements to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
“Historically, the tourism industry has been the first to emerge from a recession,” Alberta says.
“We have two target audiences: A group of travelers we refer to as ‘core' that represents about 42 million travelers. They know Las Vegas very, they are doers and leaders. The other
target audience is a group we call ‘persuades.’ They need to need to be reintroduced to Las Vegas and need a reason to come here.”