Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the US, attracting nearly 43 million tourists last year. The city is well known for its nightlife and casino’s and is highly dependent tourism. It’s estimated that 44% of all jobs in Southern Nevada are supported by the tourist industry – one of the highest percentages in the US. With over 250,000 hotel, restaurant, bar and casino workers, as well over 100,000 further jobs in other tourism related jobs, it’s clear that Las Vegas is a city that heavily relies on visitors..
Following the recent mass shooting at an outdoor music festival where 58 people were killed, Las Vegas is preparing for the possible effects on tourism in the city. Las Vegas has seen a short term reduction in visitors following the shooting. Casinos and police are imposing new security after Stephen Paddock carried over 20 rifles into a hotel room, and then filled his car with explosives and drove it into a parking garage. Electronic billboards which usually promote entertainment are displaying information on phone lines for victims.
Will the shooting stop tourists visiting Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is keen to make sure it remains a top destination for visitors from all over the world. But will this shooting be enough to keep people away from the city? It doesn’t seem likely. The number of visitors to Las Vegas has been steadily increasing over the years, and last year saw record numbers. Last year’s mass shooting in Orlando seems to have had no effect of tourism, with the area actually seeing an increase of visitors this year when compared with 2016. Although tourism has seen a decrease this year, tourism experts believe this is due to tensions between Mexico and the US and a decline in Mexican visitors rather than fears over safety.
How do shootings affect tourism as a whole?
The rise in gun crime and shooting is concerning for tourists and the US ranks 12th in the world for deaths related to gun crime. So what’s the advice for tourists visiting big cities? While gun crime rarely involves tourists, the safety concerns are understandable. Other counties around the world who’ve seen recent mass shootings, like Paris, Brussels and Nice, have all experienced a reduction in the number of visitors. And other destinations such as Tunisia and Egypt have seen a dramatic fall In the amount of tourists in the aftermath of mass shooting.
A recent statement from Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority states that: “The thoughts and prayers of all of Las Vegas go out to the victims and their families. This was a horrific, yet isolated, incident. At this time, it is important to allow the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police to conclude their investigation into the incident and to attend to the needs of the victims and their families. Las Vegas is a strong community that will work through this tragic incident. We are grateful beyond words to our incomparable law enforcement, first responders and everyone who continues to help victims and their families.”
Following the recent shooting, it’s hoped that Las Vegas will recover and won’t see any long term effects on the tourism industry that it’s so dependent on.