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Las Vegas visitor trends in 2013

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The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) and GLS Research recently published results of the 2013 Las Vegas Visitor Profile Study. This annual report provides insight regarding Vegas visitor demographics and behaviors during Vegas trips. Results (2013) are based on in-person interviews (300 monthly / 3600 annually) of visitors intercepted near various casinos, hotels, and other public areas. All respondents were at least 21 years of age.

The following is a synopsis of the 2013 Visitor Profile study. The data-gathering methodology emphasized accuracy and thoroughness, though Vegas visitor answers to profile study questions may not have been 100% truthful at all times (particularly regarding gambling budgets and behavior). Visitor demographics, travel planning methods, spending trends, gaming budgets and behaviors, and other response data follow.

Primary reasons for visiting Vegas:

  • Vacation / pleasure - 41%
  • Gambling - 15%
  • Visit friends / relatives - 12%
  • Attend a convention - 6%
  • Other business purposes - 7%
  • Wedding / to get married - 4%
  • Attend a special event - 9%

Fifteen percent of all responding 2013 visitors indicated they were first-time visitors to Vegas (or 85% had visited previously). Of all first-time visitors, 64% claimed they came to town primarily for vacation / pleasure.

Travel Planning Characteristics :

  • Proportion arriving by ground transportation (auto / bus / RV) - 58%
  • Proportion arriving by air - 42%
  • Proportion using their own vehicle in Vegas - 50%
  • Proportion renting a car - 12%
  • Proportion using the Monorail - 6%
  • Proportion using a hotel / motel shuttle - 12%
  • Proportion who primarily walked to get around - 52%
  • Proportion using taxis for ground transportation - 27%
  • Proportion using a travel agent for planning - 15%
  • Proportion using the internet to plan trip - 64%
  • Proportion of internet users who booked hotels via the web - 59%
  • Proportion who booked lodging via direct phone call - 38%
  • Proportion of visitors who visited Downtown Las Vegas - 30%

Most visitors began planning their Vegas trips 15 to 30 days (29%) or 31 to 60 days (26%) in advance of intended arrival dates. Twenty-seven percent planned their trips more than 60 days in advance. Seventy-seven percent of all respondents lodged in the 'Strip corridor' ( 60% directly on and 17% just off the Strip). Downtown hotels hosted 5% of all visitors, 3% lodged on the Boulder Strip, and 13% lodged in other outlying areas.

Day of arrival stats :

  • Sunday 13%
  • Monday 14%
  • Tuesday 11%
  • Wednesday 14%
  • Thursday 17%
  • Friday 20%
  • Saturday 12%

Trip Characteristics / Spending :

  • Average number of adults in party - 2.4
  • Proportion of visitors with persons under 21 in party - 10%
  • Average days stayed - 4.3
  • Average nights stayed - 3.3
  • Proportion staying overnight - 99.8%
  • Average lodging expenditure per night (city-wide) - $83.62
  • Proportion paying a regular room rate - 32%
  • Proportion purchasing a package / group trip - 13%
  • Average cost of package trips per person - $868.24
  • Average trip expenditures for food and drink - $278.95
  • Average trip expenditure for local transportation - $59.68
  • Average trip spending for shopping - $140.90
  • Average trip spending for shows - $38.45
  • Sightseeing expenses - $9.29

Visitors spent significantly more on food and drink options and less on shows in 2013 as compared to the previous year (2012).

Visitor demographics :

  • Proportion married - 79%
  • Proportion with household incomes of $40,000 or more - 88%
  • Proportion employed - 67%
  • Proportion retired - 20%
  • Proportion over 40 yrs. old - 58%
  • Average age - 45.8 yrs
  • Proportion with college diploma - 51%
  • Proportion from Western US - 52%
  • Proportion from California - 33%
  • Proportion from a foreign country - 20%

The proportion of visitors from foreign countries (20% in 2013) continues to increase, and was significantly higher in 2013 than in 2012.

Entertainment :

  • Proportion attending any shows during trip - 72%
  • Proportion seeing lounge acts (of all who saw a show) - 87%
  • Proportion seeing big-name headliners (of those seeing any show) - 13%
  • Proportion attending comedy shows - 8%
  • Proportion attending other paid attractions - 15%

The proportion attending any paid show / attraction in 2013 (72%) was significantly higher (+7%) than in 2012.

Gaming Behavior / Budgets:

  • Proportion claiming they gambled in Vegas - 71%
  • Average hours per day spent gambling - 2.9
  • Average trip gambling budget - $529.57
  • Proportion claiming they would be more likely to visit Vegas for gambling ( in consideration of all other gambling locale alternatives ) - 24%

The reported visitor gaming budgets in 2013 ($529.57) was significantly higher than in 2010 ($466) and 2011 ($447), and was numerically higher than the visitor gambling budgets reported for 2012 ($484.70). Some Vegas visitors may not be 100% truthful in their responses regarding gambling activities and associated spending. Of those who gambled, 54% played slots most often followed by blackjack (17%), video poker (11%), and craps (5%). Of those who gambled, 80% did so on the Strip, 27% gambled Downtown, and 19% gambled just off the Strip. Respondents in the latter data could have gambled at more than one locale in the multiple response question.

In 2013, 89% of visitors reported being "very satisfied" with their Vegas trips, significantly lower than the same stat figure reported in the previous four annual studies. The escalation of 6:5 payoff blackjack tables upsets us, too.

Cheers...

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