Las Vegas, like many tourist destinations around the world, suffered heavily during 2020. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority commissioned a report to look at the impact of the pandemic on Las Vegas in 2020 and it showed the Las Vegas tourism economy lost $34 billion. That is a massive figure and would come as a huge blow to any industry.
Las Vegas relies on tourism, with the world class casinos, hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues key to the success of the economy. If we go back to 2019, the economic output thanks to tourism in Las Vegas was $63.6 billion, close to double that of 2020. The number of visitors to southern Nevada in 2020 was 19 million, the lowest annual total since 1989. Convention attendance fell to its lowest level in 21 years and over 100,000 jobs were lost in Las Vegas due to the pandemic.
The numbers above show how badly the pandemic hit Las Vegas but fast forward to 2022, just how popular is Las Vegas as a tourist destination?
We still have restrictions is some parts of the world and travel is still not as easy as it was before the pandemic struck. Many people took to the internet for their casino gaming fix and there are some fantastic casinos available online, such as the one featured in this comprehensive review. However, despite the high quality of online casino games, with live dealer games proving especially popular, nothing can beat the feel of being in Sin City itself.
If we look at some statistics for 2021 and compare them to the previous year, we can see Las Vegas is heading in the right direction. For example, in April 2021, just over 2.5 million people visited Las Vegas compared to just over 100,000 in the previous year. In 2019, over 3.5 million people visited Las Vegas, so although the figures for 2021 do not match that of pre-pandemic levels, it is significantly better than 2019.
Looking at the numbers for July 2020 and again, we saw a significant improvement in 2021. In July 2021, just under 3 million people visited Las Vegas and again, this does not match the figure for 2019 but is a huge improvement on 2020, when the pandemic had a grip on the world.
In terms of takings, between April and July 2021, Las Vegas enjoyed their best numbers since 2006. Keeping in mind it was still difficult for international visitors to get to Las Vegas, it is a fantastic achievement. Americans were desperate to get out and enjoy themselves and that showed in the takings at Las Vegas casinos. With social distancing still in place, the slots proved to be the most popular games as it was easy to maintain a distance from other people when playing.
In January 2022, just under 2.5 million people visited Las Vegas, which was up 91.2 percent from January 2021. The number was still down on 2019 but as people become accustomed to travelling again, 2022 should be a tremendous year for Las Vegas, with the city being just as popular as before the pandemic.