Las Vegas welcomed a record number of visitors in 2016, the third consecutive year in which its visitor traffic has hit an all-time high.
Figures released Tuesday by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) show Nevada’s party capital welcomed a record 42.9m visitors in 2016, 600k higher than in 2015, and the LVCVA is projecting the total will top 43m for the first time when 2017’s numbers are calculated a year from now.
In addition to the usual hordes of drunk-off-their-ass twenty-somethings, the LVCVA says Vegas also welcomed a record number of convention guests in 2016. Over 6.3m visitors attended a convention in 2016, 7.1% higher than 2015’s total.
LVCVA research director Kevin Bagger said his group was looking forward to partnering with resort operators in “aggressively marketing the destination around the world to continue attracting more visitors and break the record again this year.”
Detailed breakdowns of the nature of 2016’s visitors won’t be issued for another few months, but it will be interesting to see if Vegas was able to rebuild its slowing international visitation. International guests accounted for 16% of Vegas visitors in 2015, down from 19% in 2014.
Of course, that was before Hainan Airlines began the first ever non-stop flights between Beijing and Las Vegas. The flights only began on December 2 but the response was so favorable that Hainan was forced to switch to a larger aircraft with 76 additional seats to accommodate the demand.
Just one day after the first Hainan flight landed, Vegas celebrated the launch of the Lucky Dragon, the only new casino to open in Vegas in 2016 and the only one to display hotel signage in Mandarin first.
The LVCVA is actively promoting the various Chinese New Year festivities available not only at the Lucky Dragon but at resorts across the city later this month. Properties are rolling out everything from lion and dragon dances to Chinese pop stars in order to make their Asian guests feel right at home as they usher in the Year of the Rooster.