Las Vegas is usually associated with a picture of luxury, wealth and unbridled fun. The “Sin City” where “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”. Tourists are attracted by the idea of eternal party, the shining towers, facades, and, of course, crazy excitement in numerous casinos. According to LVCVA (2018), Las Vegas is one of the most popular destinations in the USA with more than 42 million visitors per year. However, the vibrant nightlife is not all this city has to offer. Las Vegas Tourism site (2020) claims that Las Vegas has something for everyone. Walking along a popular Las Vegas Strip in the evenings, or dazzling light shows on the Freemont Street. Hotels and casinos try to attract people with world-famous recreations like erupting volcanoes, the Eiffel Tower and the Sphinx in front of them. Tourism in Las Vegas continuously reinvents, so, it is always possible to find some new and exciting attractions for different market segments.
According to Jacob Thomas (2018), a unique selling point, applying to destination marketing, is a feature that makes city, state or geographical area unique from other tourism spots. Las Vegas has numerous specific properties that make it appealing for travelers. Tourists from all over the world come here to try things they are not able to experience anywhere else. For example, in Las Vegas casinos provide tourists plenty of attractions. Steve Beauregard (2020) claims that there are 136 casinos in this city. People want to try their luck and spend large sums to win at least something. The architecture of the city also greatly affects the illusion of seduction and temptation. Las Vegas is equipped with a palette of styles: from Ancient Egypt and Ancient Greece to avant-garde and postmodern. He combines the examples of commercial architecture of many tourist hotspots in the world (Bocharov, 2009). For instance, the “New York-New York” hotel and casino include several copies of New York City buildings, such as the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. Consumers can fully experience the atmosphere of New York, which creates the ideal virtual tourism. Finally, Las Vegas is the wedding capital of the world with more than 100000 weddings per year. It is a popular place to play informal spontaneous wedding. So, the uniqueness of Las Vegas is the sensation of permissiveness. Suggesting to tourists the idea that they can see the whole world and afford everything they want, infiltrate in the environment of money, lust, temptation, allows them to keep Las Vegas tourism at a high level.
Las Vegas has several adult entertainments, such as drinking, gambling, nightclubs. However, “Sin City” has started to focus on different market segments, and becomes the perfect place for a family vacation (ZipCodeMaps Blog, 2012). According to Akinsete (2010), in 1989 the United States changed its gaming laws, so, other cities could have their hotels with casinos. Potential clients started to ask themselves why to go to Las Vegas just to gamble when they can do it at home. The answer offered by Las Vegas hoteliers was that the city could no longer be the destination for adult attraction, it could be a great location for family activities. Currently, hotels and casinos offer various of child activities. Even though it may be difficult to attract families in the city with such a “dirty” reputation, the targeting of parents and children is certainly on the rise and becoming lucrative. Consequently, business holders try to seize the opportunity to enter the area of a wider target market.
Las Vegas provides over 147000 guestrooms ranging from budget rooms to luxury apartments (Okada, 2019). According to Okada (2015), 97% of visitors stay in a hotel or motel, so this is the most popular type of accommodation, including families target market. Most of the hotels offer casino facilities because guests who are gamblers are an important demand segment for Las Vegas. Tourist, who wants to spend his/ her day gambling, may find some 3-4 stars hotel with casino, and not expend much on convenience of living. And ones, who want to dive into the luxury environment may discover graceful hotels with amazing architecture. It is an appropriate accommodation for likewise families, because of variety of facilities for both adults and children.
There are numerous attractions in Las Vegas, and for tourists, it may be hard to choose between so many possibilities in the city of fun and shows. Las Vegas boasts achievements in both man-made and natural attractions. One example of man-made sights is the “Stratosphere”. The highest building in the city engages adventurers from all over the world to experience courage by jumping from the tower or hanging over the edge (Konde, 2019). As Konde claims (2019), the Las Vegas Strip, one of the most popular streets in the world, is also a great human-made attraction. The constantly lively 4.5-mile stretch includes huge amounts of hotels and resorts. Millions of people visit this place year by year to become part of a buzzing Las Vegas. Bonnie Spring Old Nevada park will be a nice choice for family pastime. The entirety city, that keeps the soul of wild west, offers such gaieties as western-style motels, restaurants, zoo with possibility to feed animals, horseback riding and much more. The city has also magnificent natural attractions. For instance, Lee Canyon is certainly one of the more scenic places to visit. During the winter tourists able to ski, and summers may offer exciting camping. «Valley of Fire» is a splendid area for those wishing to enjoy « classic south-western desert scenery just like in Hollywood westerns» (Beson, 2011). Quaint rocks, desert landscapes, ancient petroglyphs bring an amazing atmosphere to this place. Overall, Las Vegas is rightfully considered as a touristic hotspot with such catchy attractions.
Butler’s Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC) is the theory that categorize economy of resort destinations in the 6 stages: ‘exploration’, ‘involvement’, ‘development’, ‘consolidation’, ‘stagnation’ and then either ‘decline’ or ‘rejuvenation’ (Norman,2010). Las Vegas is located between consolidation and stagnation stages. Consolidation is the stage when the region’s visitors number remains stable, without sharp increases. However, tensions may arise between tourists and local people. Stagnation stage comes when the destination has a decline in number of tourists. It happens because of outdated facilities, missing their popularity. Also, one of the factors, affecting visitor’s reduction is the October 1 Harvest Festival mass shooting with 58 killed and 800 injured people (Goldstein, 2018). Сollapse of Lehman Brothers Holdings in 2008 also had a huge impact on Las Vegas hospitality industry, it is intensified the Great Recession (Velotta, 2018).
The economy of the city is based on hospitality and gambling industry. Lilly (2016) claims that the Las Vegas tourism industry as a “roughly 45 billion industry”. The number of tourists in 2019 was more than 42.5 million. Moreover, the gambling revenue was indicated as 11.9 billion in 2018. According to Meltzer, 74% of tourists tried gambling while in Las Vegas, the average budget that costumers spend on casinos during the trip was $527.05(4 days and 3 nights). However, today gambling is not the only reason to visit Las Vegas. Tourists spend money mostly on restaurants and attractions. Tourism in Las Vegas also provides more than 41% of the population with jobs in the hospitality industry. Overall, tourism is an essential economic driver in Las Vegas.
One of the crucial issues in Las Vegas sustainable tourism is the waste of water. If hoteliers do not rationalize the quantity of consumed water, the city will dry out soon. “Las Vegas is growing too fast for its water resources, not, unfortunately, unlike many other Western cities,” claims Tanner (2007). Comparing with other states, Nevada has the fastest rise in population. This feature adds pressure to already limited sources (Brady,2015). Grate number of casinos is also one of the problematic sides of tourism. Las Vegas created such an image for tourists, however, most of the players are locals. There are also concerns with air quality, because of the temperature in the city and vehicle exhaust.
To sum up, the hospitality and tourism industry is an essential part of Las Vegas existence. It contributes to the city with most of the overall income and provides citizens with employment. However, tourism also jeopardizes some environmental aspects, such as water shortage and air pollution. So, it is important for city development to consider all these concerns.
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