Shoot­ing will not dim charm of Las Ve­gas

Weekend Post (South Africa) - - TRAVEL - Hugh Mor­ris

LAS Ve­gas is the sixth most-vis­ited city in the US, ac­count­ing for just un­der 10% of the na­tion’s overseas ar­rivals.

Be­hind only the be­he­moths of New York, Mi­ami, Los An­ge­les, Or­lando and San Fran­cisco, Ne­vada’s Sin City wel­comes 3.3 mil­lion peo­ple from abroad each year – ex­clud­ing Mex­ico and Canada – just more than five times its pop­u­la­tion. Al­most 43 mil­lion peo­ple vis­ited last year.

The city best known for its he­do­nis­tic nightlife and gam­bling cul­ture is, how­ever, top of the ta­ble when it comes to its de­pen­dency on tourism. No other city in the US has a higher per­cent­age of peo­ple em­ployed in the pri­vate leisure sec­tor, while Las Ve­gas is the ninth-big­gest em­ployer in the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try as a whole.

Ac­cord­ing to the Las Ve­gas Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tor Bureau, tourism ac­counts for about 44% of the area’s work force, with more than 250 000 peo­ple mak­ing a liv­ing in ho­tels, restau­rants, bars and casi­nos, and 100 000 em­ployed in ad­di­tional ser­vices. Not even Or­lando, Florida, home to Dis­ney World, has so many of its eggs in one bas­ket.

In short, in the wake of the deadliest mass shoot­ing in US his­tory, Las Ve­gas will be keen to en­sure there is no last­ing im­pact on the world’s de­sire to keep vis­it­ing.

Will the shoot­ing keep tourists away from Las Ve­gas?

It seems un­likely. Las Ve­gas has seen its vis­i­tor num­bers in­crease steadily since 1970, when just 6.8 mil­lion peo­ple made a pil­grim­age to the mid­dle of the Mo­jave Desert. Growth paused 2008-09 for the re­ces­sion but has since picked up again. Last year’s 43 mil­lion was a record.

The sec­ond-largest mass shoot­ing in US his­tory presents a grim but handy com­par­i­son when con­sid­er­ing the im­pact on Las Ve­gas tourism.

Last June, Omar Ma­teen killed 49 peo­ple and wounded al­most 60 when he car­ried out an at­tack at a night­club in Or­lando, Florida, a city where one in four peo­ple is em­ployed in the leisure sec­tor.

Sta­tis­tics from Visit Or­lando show the at­tack has not been detri­men­tal to tourism. Or­lando as a whole has seen a 3.3% in­crease in visi­tors so far this year, com­pared with 2016, while Or­lando Cen­tral and South, near where the atroc­ity took place, have seen 3.3% and 2.6% growth re­spec­tively. – The Tele­graph

VIVA, LAS VE­GAS: Al­most 43 mil­lion peo­ple vis­ited US gam­bling mecca Las Ve­gas last year

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