City Travel Briefing: Las Vegas

March 2019

Las Vegas is the third most visited city in the US and the 26th most visited internationally. It has long been seen as a hub for gambling and nightlife, but has now expanded to include top-rated restaurants, outdoor adventures, sporting events, and more. The massive hotels and convention centre offer an ideal setting for conventions and business. However, the city faces increasing competition from Native American casinos and other gambling destinations that are dispersed throughout the US.

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Key Findings

Las Vegas is known as one of the top travel destinations in the US

Las Vegas stands near the top of the list of top travel destinations internationally at number 26. With one of the smaller populations compared to other US cities on the list, the city’s neon lights and nightlife have made it the third most visited US destination.

Affordable flights and accommodations are a key selling point

Cheap domestic flights and low accommodation prices have always made Las Vegas the most sought after destination for group events such as bachelor and bachelorette parties. Now, home share operators such as Airbnb provide full houses to rent at the same reasonable prices or less.

Sporting events attract new travellers

In more recent years, the city has become a destination for sporting events. Many large-scale fight events such as boxing and MMA bring in large profits for Las Vegas. Recently, several professional and semi-professional teams have relocated to Las Vegas culminating in the 2017 announcement that the NFL’s Oakland Raiders will move to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.

Decreased visitor volumes spike concerns

Despite increased gaming revenue, both the hotel occupancy rate and number of visitors were down for the third year in a row in 2018. This likely stems in part from the tragic shooting that took place during a 2017 music festival. Time will tell if the city will bounce back or if the trend stems from a larger-scale change in trends.

Millennials push for experiences beyond the casino

Known for their love of experiences over purchases, millennials are not looking to travel to the same hotel casinos baby boomers flooded to in previous decades. Changes so far include the hosting of large-scale eSports events, more experiential nightclubs and festivals, rooftop amusement park rides, and extravagant new dining experiences. 


Top 100 city destinations ranking
Key findings

Macro View

Business dynamics

Destination Dynamics

Tourism board strategy and competitive position
Inbound tourism performance
Domestic tourism performance: the greatest American vice
Lodging landscape
Connectivity: ground transportation driving tourism
Smart city innovations

Future Outlook

SWOT: Las Vegas
Key takeaways


City destinations ranking 1 to 13
City destinations ranking 14 to 26
City destinations ranking 27 to 39
City destinations ranking 40 to 52
City destinations ranking 53 to 65
City destinations ranking 66 to 78
City destinations ranking 79 to 91
City destinations ranking 92 to 100


Data parameters and report definitions


Travel encompasses several categories including tourism flows, lodging, travel modes, in-destination spending and booking.

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