AAA projects a 7% increase in Americans traveling 50 miles or more from home this Memorial Day weekend compared to last year. Many of them are headed to cities like Orlando, Las Vegas and New York City after several years of gravitating to parks and rural areas to stay safe during the height of the pandemic.
In the city with arguably the most iconic tourism campaign in the country, this probably doesn’t come as a surprise.
“Las Vegas is the city in the United States that is most reliant on a single industry,” said Steve Hill, CEO of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
While the pandemic gutted the local economy, “we’re projecting 335,000 visitors this weekend,” Hill said. “I mean, that’s full.”
Except for some tourism from abroad that’s still lagging, he said the pandemic seems to be fully in the rearview mirror.
“The comfort levels that folks have now really lend themselves to going back to those big cities,” said Morning Consult analyst Lindsey Roeschke.
Americans are budgeting for trips they couldn’t take during the pandemic, she added — cruises, international travel and cultural experiences, like live music.
“We actually just launched our new summer campaign ‘You’re in for a show,’” said Wesley Lucas with Visit Austin.
They’re advertising the city’s music scene to folks in LA, Chicago and Nashville this summer to get even more people to Austin. Among the big acts this Memorial Day weekend is blues guitarist Tab Benoit at Antone’s.
Lucas says Austin hotel revenue is up and occupancy rates are high, and the city plans to add 1,600 more hotel rooms by the end of the year.
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