LVCVA Team Works to Increase International Travel and Tourism in Las Vegas

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) reports record-breaking numbers in international travel and tourism. The U.S. Department of Commerce and Research reported that, during 2010, 18% of Las Vegas’s visitors and 27% of its revenue came from international travel and business.

The LVCVA operates the Cashman Center and Las Vegas Convention Center. They are responsible for promoting conventions, meetings, special events, all of which results in drawing more visitors to the Las Vegas area—and more revenue.

In a recent interview, Rossi Ralenkotter, the CEO of LVCVA, reported that the goal of LVCVA was to increase the overall international visitation to 30% in the next decade (a 12% increase).

How Do the Overall Visitation Numbers Relate to Conventions in Las Vegas?

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Vice president of sales at LVCVA, Chris Meyers explained that the numbers of visitors that come to Las Vegas differs for every event. Nevertheless, Las Vegas handles some of the largest international conventions in the world, such as the International Consumer Electronics Show, the SEMA automotive event, the MAGIC show, and the National Association of Broadcasters.

LVCVA’s vision for international travelers involves greater ease of travel for overseas visitors who come to Las Vegas. This will be done by:

1. Working closely with McCarren Airport to promote air travel

LVCVA is the only organization that actively works with the airline to plan and develop new airline routes based on visitation.

2. Contracting offices around the globe to promote Las Vegas as a prime destination for conventions

Currently LV’s Convention and Visitors Association has contracted 12 offices globally to work with over 70 countries to promote Las Vegas public relations. By strategically placing these offices all over the world, LVCVA is able to identify potential cultural differences. These offices also help to any potential language barriers for international visitors.

3. Working with the US Dept of Commerce Export Council

This relationship allows the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority to host major trade show clients at the Trade Show Trade Missions around the world.

4. Advocating improvements in the visa application process

Currently, LVCVA works closely with the Nevada Congress and the US Travel Association to improve the visa application process. They are working to provide more locations to apply for a visa.

They are also making a visa waiver program available to more countries. By promoting plans such as video conferencing for visa interviews, the overall process could take less than 10 days.

This will be fundamental in increasing international visitors, as countries like China and Brazil can take up to 3 months to process a visa. This kind of wait is a huge obstacle in trade show planning; the proposed changes should help increase visitation dramatically.

Erin Walsh

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