For Southern Nevada’s tourism industry, 2021 was a pivot point in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and related response. After spending most of 2020 under the cloud of the pandemic, Americans displayed a greater willingness to travel and vacation as the public health environment improved through 2021, and Southern Nevada’s core tourism industry benefitted from the combination of pent-up demand and ample household savings to fund that demand.

The recovery trend last year was a tale of two halves. The first part of 2021 marked a gradual rekindling of travel and tourism that coincided with the wide availability of coronavirus vaccines and a decline in caseloads, while the second half of the year included the best pandemic era months in terms of visitor volume. Monthly visitation peaked at 3.4 million in October, and monthly visitation averaged 3.1 million visitors over the last six months of 2021, which included two COVID-19 waves related to coronavirus variants. The second-half visitation trend was a marked improvement from the 1.2 million monthly visitors in the first year of the pandemic, and it was closing in on the 2019 monthly average of 3.5 million visitors.

The second-half rebound drove visitation to 32.2 million for the year, a 69.4 percent gain over the 19.0 million in 2020. However, the annual total trailed the 42.5 million visitors in 2019 by 24.2 percent. A significant portion of the remaining ground to recover is tied to Southern Nevada’s convention segment. Conventions and trade show activity did rebound from the negligible levels of 2020 to register 2.2 million convention attendees in 2021, with a monthly peak of 475,000 attendees in October. Yet the annual total was just a third of the record 6.6 million convention attendees in 2019.

Click here to download the report and read more.