This fall, Las Vegas will welcome a large influx of business travellers to its hotels, bars, restaurants, and casinos.
One corporate travel agency claims that the city is now the top destination for booking forward flights in America, despite strict Covid compliances in many areas of Nevada.
Las Vegas is currently the number one business flight destination, with Austin and San Francisco second and third respectively, according to corporate travel agency TripActions.
Meanwhile, McCarran International Airport’s lounges are the third busiest in the U.S., based on data from Collinson’s Priority Pass network, which covers 91 percent of the top 100 busiest airports globally. Miami and Dallas-Fort Worth are the top two.
Danny Finkel (chief travel officer, TripActions) stated that there has been a spike in bookings as offices reopen and business travelers are able to schedule meetings.
However, face masks are currently required in indoor public spaces across much of Nevada, including Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe, although an exception has been made for large events, which instead require attendees are fully vaccinated. The infection rate is also rising steadily, with the Delta variant a particular concern, according to local media.
What’s the secret to its success? Up until June, business guests were lacking. But then one of the first major trade shows, World of Concrete, successfully took place, and that will have boosted confidence.
Bookings may be supported by more vaccinated workers. Some 92 percent of suppliers (and 88 percent of travel buyers) are fully or partially vaccinated, according to a Global Business Travel Association poll carried out in July.
Finkel added, “Surveys show that most business travelers have been vaccinated. Many have traveled successfully as a leisure traveller and would be willing to return to business travel.”
American Express Global Business Travel ranked Las Vegas as the number one destination for corporate travel in 2020. This data suggests that it will continue to be a popular choice this year.
Combining leisure and business travel could push Las Vegas hotels closer to October 2019 occupancy numbers. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, they have been steadily moving in the right direction for the last several months.
The state of Nevada has witnessed a record 60 percent growth year-over-year for Hilton. In the last three years, it has almost doubled its Las Vegas presence and is the U.S. destination that houses all three luxury brands. As of June 30, 2021 there were 44 Hilton-branded hotels, according to the Skift Daily Lodging Report.
“Convention business will be key in getting back to 90 percent average occupancy rates in Las Vegas,” said MGM Resorts CEO William Hornbuckle earlier this year.
There’s a lot of potential for 2022 as well, because Europe continues to be locked out during the transatlantic stalemate.
“There is such pent-up demand for people wanting to travel,” said Lee Haslett, Virgin Atlantic’s vice president of global sales, in an interview. We know from experience that there are many Brits who want to travel to famous places like New York or Las Vegas.
Las Vegas, home to dnata’s tour operator Gold Medal, was fifth in terms of most booked destinations for July. The majority of these trips are scheduled for 2022.
Transatlantic travel could be what the city needs to recover. Skift was told by an industry source that some pharmaceutical companies were switching to virtual conferences after cancelling their conferences, which had been set for the third quarter.
Vegas might not return just yet.
Publiated at Tue 07/09/2021, 17:08:44 (+0000).