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Pow Wow: Las Vegas pledges to retain trade priority

Las Vegas will continue to invest more in the trade than consumer advertising as it looks to develop its position as a value destination.


In other international markets such as Canada, the Las Vegas CVB’s main investment is in consumer-facing activity with a core brand message.


But the CVB’s vice-president for international brand strategy said the success of marketing with tour operators, airlines and agents in the UK meant the investment would continue.


“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” said John Bischoff. “We will continue to give primary focus to the trade and we have not carried out any in-depth consumer research to develop a consumer brand message.”


Bischoff said Las Vegas was pleased that it had maintained its 10-year relationship with Virgin Atlantic while introducing new British Airways flights to the destination.


Virgin’s decision to introduce twice-weekly flights from Manchester from next year would also open up new opportunities, he added, while the BA “halo effect” was being seen in increased airlift from mainland Europe.


Las Vegas is promoting a value message, with average room rates currently standing at $93 a night, and is also looking to further develop its conference business with the WTTC conference taking place in 2011 and Pow Wow returning in 2013.


Occupancy rates currently stand in the “slightly disappointing” low 80s, having peaked around 90%, but Bischoff said he felt the full opening of the City Center development followed by the Cosmopolitan resort at the end of this year and the start of next would coincide with an economic recovery.


“I believe the situation will stay the same for the rest of this year, so the message is that customers should take advantage of the value while they can,” he said.


“But we have seen four months of increased occupancy, and the evidence suggests that we can start to forecast and we believe the rooms coming onside will coincide with a rise in occupancy and room rates next year.”


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