Las Vegas looks to Asia for growth


Countries like China are considered one of the leading growth markets for more visitors to Las Vegas.

Las Vegas casinos and resorts are working to appeal to overseas visitors so the local tourism industry can continue to thrive. The number of overseas visitors is certainly growing, especially visitors from Asian countries.

In 2015, Las Vegas had more than 200,000 visitors from China alone. That’s nearly 10 percent more visitors from the year before. Now, with non-stop flights from China to Las Vegas, more visitors are likely.

Las Vegas is the place to be for Young Park and his family.

“Las Vegas is one of those places that is exciting whether we are going to win the money or not, it’s an exciting place,” said Park.

He’s checking out the Lucky Dragon for the first time and he likes the feeling of the casino. It’s a bit more like home — from the layout of the card tables to the food in the kitchen.

“Hopefully, I can win something. But the food I like it. The dim sum, it’s a traditional Chinese food.” 

The design behind it all was intentional, according to Lucky Dragon’s Chief Operating Officer Dave Jacoby.

“There was a lot of painstaking detail that went into the design of the resort to make sure every detail from colors chosen to where a wall goes, where windows go.” 

He says they’re targeting the growing number of visitors from China and other Asian countries who want to visit Las Vegas.

“We looked around at the visitors that were already coming to Las Vegas and we didn’t feel that they were being served as well as they could be in a culturally appropriate way as maybe they could be,” Jacoby said.

But they aren’t alone.

Leaders with MGM Resorts International tell us they know the wishes of their Asian guests and work to create an experience that melds the East with the West.

It even includes bringing in artists that attract overseas tourists, like Bruno Mars. And ushering in the Chinese New Year in a big way with lion dances and authentic cuisine.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is anticipating even more guests from Asia.

“The ease of just getting on the plane in Beijing and when it lands you’re in Las Vegas,” said Rossi Ralenkotter, president/ceo LVCVA. “It just makes it so much more competitive for us.” 

So, visitors like Park family keep coming back.

“It’s exciting and it’s something different and everybody can enjoy something and I like that,” said Eunja park.

International visitors also tend to stay longer and spend more cash.

The Department of Commerce estimates Chinese travelers spend $6,000 to $7,000 per person, per trip, ranking the Chinese as the highest spending group of international visitors.

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