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Las Vegas, the ultimate city of numbers, is looking at a staggering figure for losses due to the pandemic last year.

In a report commissioned for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority from Applied Analysis, the city lost $34 billion in tourism impact due to the COVID-19 pandemic


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“Compared to recent recessions, the COVID-19 recession’s magnitude was unprecedented in its depth and speed,” the report stated in its summary.

The $34 billion loss in 2020 accounts for more than half of what tourism brought in the year before to Las Vegas. The economic impact of tourism in 2019 was worth $63.6 billion to the city; last year, it was down to $29.6 billion in 2020, down from $63.6 in 2019.

It was well known that Vegas, like many other tourist destinations, suffered shocking losses due to the pandemic but it is stunning nonetheless to see it down on paper.

“The COVID-19 pandemic left an indelible imprint on the Southern Nevada tourism industry and the broader regional economy,” the authors noted.

In fact, a further breakdown shows just how shocking it was. Direct Visitor Spending dropped to $17.6 billion in 2020 from $36.9 billion in 2019. Supplies and Vendors spent just $4.9 billion in Las Vegas last year compared to $11.4 billion the year before. And employee spending in 2020 was $7 billion compared to $15.4 billion in 2019.

“The Southern Nevada economy’s heavy reliance on the tourism industry made it particularly susceptible to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it had on limiting travel, dining at restaurants and other activities that involve large gatherings,” according to the report.

Almost one-third – just over 28 percent – of all Las Vegas jobs are tourism-related. More than 125,000 jobs were lost due to the pandemic.

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