Las Vegas Scores Record-breaking Visitor Attendance in 2012; Sees Upticks in Events Held, Convention Attendees

February 10, 2013

Coming out of one of the worst economic periods in United States’ history, Las Vegas scored its highest visitor attendance record yet in 2012, and, while convention attendance was only up 1.6 percent from the prior year, the number of meetings and conventions held in the city were up more than 13 percent, compared with 2011.

Las Vegas welcomed 39.7 million visitors in 2012, approximately 500,000 more visitors than the previous high of 39.2 million set in 2007.

The record visitation generated more than $40 billion in economic impact for the local economy last year, according to Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority officials.

"The record visitation is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our resort partners and every employee who works in the industry," said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the LVCVA. 

He added, "Tourism is the economic leader for Southern Nevada and the entire state, so we are encouraged to see positive signs of continued growth for the industry.  With more than $2 billion of reinvestment in the destination, Las Vegas is well positioned for continued growth in 2013 and on the threshold of hosting more than 40 million visitors."

Convention attendance also saw its highest uptick in four years in 2012, with 4.9 million delegates attending a convention, trade show or meeting, reflecting a 1.6 percent increase, compared with 2011.

Las Vegas also hosted 21,615 meetings, trade shows or conventions in 2012, up 13.6 percent from the 2011 total of 19,029. 

The 2012 total is the highest number of meetings and conventions held in Las Vegas since 2008. 

Driving some of these positive numbers was likely the National Mining Association’s quadrennial MINExpo International, held in September at the Las Vegas Convention Center and drawing 1,890 exhibitors, also up nearly 45 percent, and attracted more than 52,000 attendees, an increase of 41 percent.

The Consumer Electronics Association’s International CES, held each year in January at several venues around Las Vegas, had its largest show in history in 2012, with 156,153 in overall attendees.

“The 2012 International CES was the largest in show history and was bursting with innovation as the world’s most important technology event,” said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, events and conferences for CEA, said at the time.

                                                                                                                         

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VisitDallas, the sales and marketing organization for the city of Dallas, is a pioneer in the destination marketing organization (DMO) space, leading the way in shaping the visitor experience for travelers of all kinds. The most progressive DMOs are developing new partnerships with local organizations to improve the destination experience. VisitDallas, for example, developed the Margarita Mile by creating a collection of top bars and restaurants that each celebrate the frosty cocktail in innovative ways.