China’s “Golden Week” officially began on October 1st. Traditionally, this week-long holiday brings a huge number of Chinese visitors to Las Vegas. Unfortunately, international tourism rates in Las Vegas didn’t increase by much this past weekend. Today, we’re going to look at why exactly that is.
Most analysts predicted that casinos wouldn’t see much of a change. Fortunately, the casino industry in Las Vegas does appear to be slowly recovering. Hope is that this trend continues for weeks to come.
Here’s a look at what’s going on here.
More Casinos Are Expected to Reopen in Las Vegas Next Year
For years, several massive new casino-resorts have been under construction in Las Vegas. Most of them were initially expected to be open at this point. For several reasons, the opening of these new gambling venues has been delayed.
Fortunately, it’s been confirmed that 2021 will see several of these exciting new venues open back up. It’s a huge move for the owners of these venues. Many feel this could help to boost the tourism industry in this city.
Most are looking forward to the opening of Resorts World Las Vegas. This venue cost more than $4 billion to construct; the most expensive casino-resort ever built in this city. Officials at this new casino claim it will be open in summer of 2021.
Many are also excited about the opening of the Las Vegas Virgin Hotel. This venue is located at the former Hard Rock Hotel-Casino. It’s Virgin’s first move into the casino industry and many feel this will be the best new property located off the Strip.
The truth is that no one knows how things will look in Las Vegas next year. The casino owners here are hoping things return to some sense of normalcy. Unfortunately, tourism rates in this city still remain significantly lower than they were last year.
It now appears that Golden Week failed to boost tourism in the city.
Golden Week Does Not Boost International Tourism Rates in Las Vegas
China has an unusual set of gambling laws and regulations. In Mainland China, all forms of gambling are completely prohibited. Interestingly, China has allowed Macau, one of its territories, to become one of the world’s largest gambling destinations.
In the past, “Golden Week” was one of the biggest weekends for major casino cities like Las Vegas. This week traditionally sees millions of Chinese nationals travel abroad. Many of these international travelers head to Las Vegas to test their luck inside casinos.
That did not happen this year. New reports show that international tourism rates didn’t increase over Golden Week, beginning on October 1st. It’s not much of a surprise. Travel between the US and China is still completely prohibited.
It’s a tough blow for the casinos in Las Vegas, many of which had hoped to see an influx of new Chinese players. Jeremy Aguero, an analyst for Applied Analysis, spoke about this situation to the media this week.
“They come from longer distances, they spend more money, they have a tendency to stay longer, and all of that adds up,” he said. “It means more tax revenue for the state and local government, and it means more money for jobs. … These celebrations are extremely important to Las Vegas, and we’ve been feeling the loss of them for the past six months.”
At this point, it seems unlikely that international tourism rates will increase at all this year. Travel restrictions are once again ramping up around the world. It would take years before Las Vegas sees its visitation rates return to normal.
Is Macau Seeing a Surge in Tourism Right Now?
There has been a huge amount of attention placed on Macau over the past few months. At the start of this year, the casinos in this city were forced to shut down. Most of them were given permission to reopen within just a couple of weeks.
Some analysts predicted that Macau would end up being a source of valuable revenue for US casino companies. Several, including MGM Resorts, and Las Vegas Sands, operate massive casino-resorts in this city. Unfortunately, this prediction has failed to come together.
Mainland China has been implementing intense travel restrictions to and from Macau. For months, travel to this casino destination was completely prohibited. This travel restriction was finally lifted and it seems tourism rates in Macau have begun to increase.
International travel is obviously difficult right now. Many analysts predict that domestic travel, including into Macau, will surge over Golden Week. That could be fantastic news for the casino companies based in this city.
We won’t receive revenue reports here for at least a couple of months. It seems likely that things will improve in a major way. Hopefully, we see international tourism rates in Las Vegas start to increase sometime next year.
When do you expect things to return to normal in Las Vegas? Let us know in the comments section below!