- This year’s Golden Week could be a wash for Las Vegas due to the ongoing pandemic.
- Millions of Chinese tourists spend their National Day holiday away from their country from October 1 every year, with several of them traveling to Las Vegas.
- Unfortunately, travel restrictions related to COVID-19 are likely to stop Chinese people from traveling to the US.
- Director of government affairs for Global Market Advisors Brendan Bussmann said Las Vegas was still far from getting the number of visitors they need to recover, not just from China but also other countries.
One of the Chinese tourists’ busy months could turn into a wash for Las Vegas this year due to COVID-19.
The Golden Week, also referred to as the National Day holiday, begins on October 1 every year, celebrating the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Millions of Chinese tourists spend the holiday abroad, with some traveling to places such as Las Vegas. However, travels restrictions are forcing them to remain within the vicinity of their borders in 2020.
Director of government affairs for Las Vegas-based Global Market Advisors, Brendan Bussmann said October is usually a great month for Chinese visitation in Las Vegas. “Unfortunately, we will not be having that this year or in the near term.”
Chinese travelers made at least 7 million outbound trips during the holiday in 2019, according to China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The country’s largest online travel agency, Ctrip, revealed that most travelers this year are looking for domestic destinations. Ctrip estimated that approximately 600 million tourists will travel within China during the holiday, down 25% from 2019.
Most people can’t travel to the US since the country forbids those who have been to China during the past fortnight to enter.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spokeswoman, Lori Nelson-Craft, assumes that there’s no visitation from China in Las Vegas due to travel restrictions.
Josh Swissman, founding partner of Las Vegas gaming and hospitality consulting firm The Strategy Organization, said the Golden Week is usually an important season for Strip casinos that cater to Asian tourists.
Last year, China brought 205,400 visitors to Las Vegas, which accounted for 3.6% of total international visitation.
Data from the LVCVA indicates that Chinese tourists, on average, spent approximately $3,127 during their US trip in 2018. In contrast, the average overseas tourist spends $2,039 per trip.
Research and consulting firm Applied Analysis principal analyst Jeremy Aguero said these tourists tend to stay longer and spend more money. He added that Las Vegas has been feeling the loss of such celebrations since the pandemic started wreaking havoc.
Bussmann said the effects of the lack of Chinese tourists this month apply to the gaming revenue and retail, entertainment, hotel, food, beverage, and group spending. These factors are important to the recovery of Las Vegas, he added. Non-gaming businesses usually contribute about two-thirds of Strip casino’s revenue.
Bussmann said Las Vegas is still far from seeing the numbers it needs, not just from Chinese but also from other international visitors. He said that borders needed to open and conventions to return.