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The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority released a profile for the 2019 visitor to Las Vegas that shows first-time visitors were increasing and those coming here budgeted more for gambling. 

 The survey showed nearly one-quarter of visitors to Las Vegas in 2019 were first timers, an increase over 2017 and 2018. Visitors averaged 1.7 visits, up from 1.5 trips in 2018. 

 Las Vegas visitors in 2019 were more likely to say the main purpose of their trip was to gamble, and four in five said that they had gambled during their visit, the highest level in the past five years, the survey said. The amount of time spent gambling and the amount of money budgeted for gambling both increased from 2018. 

 Those visitors who gambled spent more time gambling on average (mean of 2.7 hours) than in the past three years. The average trip gambling budget ($591.06) was up from last year’s budget. Nearly nine in 10 (89 percent) visitors who gambled said they gambled on the Strip, while more than one-third (37 percent) said they gambled in downtown Las Vegas. 

 The amount spent on food and drink, transportation, shopping, and sightseeing increased from last year, while the amount visitors spent on lodging and on shows and entertainment remained stable, the survey said. 

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 The mix of entertainment and activities also differed from last year, with more visitors going to see such as Broadway/production shows and big name headliners, or going to other Las Vegas attractions for which they had to pay, and fewer going to see lounge acts or comedy shows, the survey said. 

 The average length of stay (3.4 nights) was the same as last year and more than nine in ten visitors to Las Vegas in 2019 said that they were “very” satisfied with their visit.  

 Nearly three-quarters of 2019 Las Vegas visitors were married (down from last year). About seven in 10 visitors (69 percent) were employed, while about two in 10 (21 percent) were retired, both similar to last year’s results, the survey said. 

 One-half (51 percent) of 2019 visitors were college graduates (up from 2017 and 2018), while one-sixth (17 prcent) had a high school education or less. 

 Nearly one-half of visitors (47percent) were visiting from the western United States, with about one-fifth (21 percent) coming from California, similar to last year, but down from 2015 – 2017. One in seven visitors were from foreign countries, down from the past four years. 

 More than three-quarters of 2019 visitors were white, similar to last year, and up from 2016 and 2017. Two-thirds of visitors reported a household income of $40,000 or more, down from the past four years. The proportion of visitors who were 40 years old or older was 62 percent and the average age was 46.2, both figures up from 2016 – 2018, the survey said. 

 Trip planning continued to evolve in 2019 with visitors more likely to book their trip within a month of their arrival. More than two-thirds used a website, social media or app. Fewer visitors than last year said they planned their trip using hotel and airline websites compared to last year, while relatively more were likely to use third party websites, the survey said. 

 More than one-third of visitors said the main purpose of their visit was for vacation and pleasure, down from the past four years, while more visitors said they were visiting to gamble or were just passing through Las Vegas. The average party size increased to the highest level in the past five years (average of 2.5 adults), while fewer visitors said they were travelling with people under 21 years old in their party.

About the Author

Buck Wargo

Buck Wargo is a former journalist with the Los Angeles Times and has been based in Las Vegas as a business, real estate and gaming reporter since 2005.

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