Monday, August 17, 2020 / by Ken Couture
The Nevada Commission on Tourism, anticipating a lull in visitation to the state until a vaccine is developed for the coronavirus, endorsed a plan to encourage the state’s residents to spend their money close to home.
The commission is expecting to generate at least $300,000 in room-tax revenue with its three-eighths of 1 percent tax on Nevada hotel rooms and wants to dedicate it to its planned “Discover Your Nevada” program that encourages Nevadans to do “staycations” within the state instead of traveling out of town.
“It’s the right campaign at the right time,” Division of Tourism Director Brenda Scolari said in Thursday’s online commission meeting.
Commissioners agree that it will take time for people to get back to taking vacations. Data presented to the commission for arrivals to Nevada from New York-based Arrivalist, a travel research company, assumes that a vaccine would be widely available by April and that room demand and tax collections wouldn’t pick up until March at the earliest.
Using a conservative scenario, Arrivalist projected that tax collections and room demand would be up by 22 percent in March, 751.8 percent in April and 703.3 percent in May compared with those months in 2020.
The data assumes that Las Vegas daily room rates would hold at about 75 percent of normal levels through June 2021, that Reno rates would be 90 percent of normal through that time, and that visitation would be at 65 percent to 70 percent until a vaccine is available.
“It’s going to be awhile before people feel comfortable traveling outside their comfort zone,” Commissioner Edward Estipona said.
Commissioners also voted to establish a Recovery Committee to develop a strategy for bringing people back to Las Vegas, Reno and rural tourism entities.
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