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Travvy Awards Winners Spotlight: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), coming off a record-breaking year, was named the Best U.S. City CVB by travAlliancemedia at the first annual Travvy Awards in January in New York City.
The LVCVA’s efforts stood out among the rest in the nation in 2014, as Las Vegas attracted 41.1 million visitors for the year, a record mark for the tourism hotspot.
“It's quite an honor to be recognized as the Best U.S. City CVB by the travel agent community,” said Art Jimenez, senior director of leisure sales for the LVCVA. “Our leisure sales team is continuously developing new and creative programs to keep agents interested in Las Vegas.”
Vegas had flirted with 40 million visitors for the past few years, but new attractions, hotels, and some good old-fashioned hard work paid off in spades in 2014. New hotels such as standalone boutique property The Cromwell, the South Beach-inspired Delano Las Vegas (attached to Mandalay Bay), and SLS Las Vegas helped boost tourism numbers. Projects such as open-air district The Linq (complete with the world’s tallest observation wheel), and the renovation of the area surrounding New York-New York and Monte Carlo also attracted many visitors from across the globe.
According to an economic impact report by Applied Analysis, expenditures per visitor also rose, year-over-year, by an extra $33 to $733. Direct visitor expenditures totaled $29.7 billion. When counting indirect and induced impacts, that number soared to $50 billion, or nearly 54 percent of Southern Nevada’s total gross product, an incredible statistic.
Vegas tourism also created more than 365,000 jobs in 2014 (43 percent of the region’s total gross product), and accounted for nearly $13.9 billion in wages and salaries (37 percent), including indirect and induced impacts, according to the report.
The LVCVA is also getting set to begin construction of the Las Vegas Global Business District, a $2.3 billion project that will add more than one million square feet of meeting and event space when it is completed. While the district will take over the 26-acre site of the Riviera Hotel (old-timers are surely sad to see the historic property close), the impact to the already-buzzing Vegas economy could be substantial.
Once construction is complete, resulting tourism could create 6,000 additional permanent jobs in Vegas while generating an estimated $700 million in economic activity and $221 million in wages and salaries. It should also help the LVCVA reach for a new goal it has set: 45 million visitors. The project is expected to take five to eight years to complete.
The LVCVA’s commitment to travel agents also stood out in 2014, as it always has throughout the years. It was another big reason why the tourism authority won at the Travvys. Its travel trade website is a great resource for agents (such as commission rates for a variety of commissionable opportunities) and the authority is constantly listening to agents to improve the relationship even more.
And the LVCVA’s promotion of Vegas wedding venues after gay marriage was legalized in Nevada was a particularly adept move. Gay marriage and tourism in Vegas figure to boost Vegas’ overall tourism numbers even more moving forward.
Of course, you can have all the bells and whistles in the world, but if you don’t get the word out effectively it doesn’t matter. From experience, travAlliancemedia has seen the LVCVA’s PR department in action, and it’s safe to say the LVCVA has a great team.
More by Ryan Rudnansky
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