Nevada Travel Industry: Tourist Confidence Growing in Face of Pandemic

Posted on: March 10, 2021, 05:19h. 

Last updated on: March 10, 2021, 08:30h.

Nevada’s travel industry had cause for cautious optimism this week. Stakeholders said there are indications of growing confidence among visitors to the Silver State.

Las Vegas tourism
Masked-up visitors to the Las Vegas Strip late last year. There are indications that travelers are becoming more comfortable about visiting the city. (Image: AFP/Getty)

AAA spokesperson Sergio Avila told Fox 5 Las Vegas that a shift in customer behavior suggests people “are feeling more comfortable with restrictions, and things that are in place already.”

In late 2020, travelers were making “extreme last-minute decisions” in that they were booking hotels within 24 hours of departure, Avila said. But now, customers are a little more in line with their pre-pandemic behavior, making bookings that are three to seven days out from departure. Avila believes the expanded timeline reflects a growing relaxation around people’s travel plans.

To me, it tells me people are feeling more comfortable with restrictions, and things that are in place already,” Avila told Fox5. 

Avila also believes that because restrictions are beginning to loosen, people are starting to plan more trips because of pent-up demand.

Hilarie Grey, a spokesperson for Las Vegas-based Allegiant Airlines, said her company was also seeing increased traveler confidence in responses on customer surveys.

Sobering Reality for Travel Industry 

The news comes despite guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that Americans should refrain from travel even if they have been vaccinated because they still risk spreading the virus to others who may be vulnerable.

And while there are positive noises coming from the tourism industry, the latest edition of the Nevada Resorts Association’s Fact Book, published Tuesday, made for more sober reading.

No industry has been more severely impacted by the pandemic than travel and hospitality, and few economies are more reliant on this sector than Nevada’s.

The Nevada Resort’s Association said it expected key indicators, such as employee earnings and visitor spending for 2020, to be “less than one-half of the 2019 totals.” It added it believed the crisis would “persist into 2021 and beyond.”

Vaccination Rebound

One year after the first COVID-19 case was reported in Nevada, Governor Steve Sisolak (D) told the Associated Press last Friday that safety remained the watchword and that Nevada would vaccinate its way to economic recovery.

“Mark my words: Nevada will be the safest place to have a convention or to come and visit. It will be safe for the tourists; it will be safe for the hotel operators and for employees and their families … We’re going to continue to have our numbers improve,” he said.

“We’re going to vaccinate as many people as we possibly can. And we’ll continue to open our economy back up.”