The U.S. government announced last week that it will ease international airline travel restrictions to allow vaccinated foreign nationals to once again travel to the country.
While this is good news for Las Vegas, which had 2 million international visitors in 2019, the easing of restrictions will not occur until November, meaning next week’s Global Gaming Expo in Las Vegas will suffer from a lack of international attendees.
Despite this, tourism and travel officials lauded the move as an important step in the industry’s recovery.
“Today marks an important turning point in the recovery of international visitation essential to Las Vegas’ tourism industry,” Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority CEO Steve Hill said in a statement. “This milestone is also significant and welcome news for many of our major trade shows and conventions that draw exhibitors and attendees from around the world.”
Virginia Valentine, president of the Nevada Resort Association, said the easing of travel restrictions is an “essential step for Las Vegas’ recovery to continue moving forward.
“Las Vegas attracted nearly six million international visitors in 2019, which supported tens of thousands of jobs and generated billions of dollars for our local economy,” Valentine said. “The lack of this key business has had a substantial economic impact on our community over the past 18 months.”