Although they're gambling less, visitors to Las Vegas are spending more and staying longer — signs that Sin City's slumbering tourism industry is finally waking up, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), which this week released the results of its annual visitor profile study.
According to the study, Las Vegas visitors stayed an average of 3.6 nights and 4.6 days in 2010 — both of which are up from 2009 — and paid an average of $80 per night for their room, compared to $76 the previous year.
Approximately 80 percent of visitors gambled in 2010, spending an average of $466 on tables or slots. Although both of those numbers are down, non-gaming spending was actually up in 2010; food and beverage increased from $250 in 2009 to $257 in 2010 while spending on shopping rose from $103 to $123.
"The Visitor Profile Study is a tremendous resource for determining the trends and visitor traits that are integral to formulating our future strategies for marketing the destination," said Kevin Bagger, senior director of marketing for LVCVA. "We work very closely with our resort and destination partners to ensure that the study addresses the issues critical to providing the best possible experience for our visitors."
Other key findings, culled from 3,600 personal interviews with travelers:
• Ninety-four percent of visitors said they were "very satisfied" with their visit, and less than 1 percent were "somewhat" or "very" dissatisfied.
• International visitors to Las Vegas grew to 18 percent of the overall market, up from 14 percent in 2009.
• Among those visiting Las Vegas for a meeting or convention, more than half (52 percent) said they were more interested in attending the meeting because it was in Las Vegas.
• Forty-five percent of visitors experienced downtime during their trip, up from 38 percent in 2009.
• The number of visitors going to paid attractions increased to 20 percent from 16 percent in 2009.
• The average Las Vegas visitor is 49.2 years old, is likely to be married (79 percent), is a college graduate (48 percent) and has a household income above $40,000 (81 percent).