A new statewide program predicts that six community projects across rural Nevada will tap into the new mixed-use travel market, and that convention delegates will welcome a break from the bright lights of the Strip.
The Nevada Division of Tourism is embarking on a 10-year plan to attract convention and conference visitors away from Las Vegas to other regions of the state.
Nevada’s 3D Travel Program has identified several projects that will receive consulting services for at least seven months and access to $2 million in funding provided by the U.S. Economic Development Administration as part of the American Plan Act. Salvation.
The project leader believes there is now room for them to tap into mixed travelers as more employees add vacations to conventions and business meetings as they embrace remote work.
“Many business travelers are not looking for a gambling-type experience,” said Cortney Bloomer, manager of destination development at Travel Nevada.
“With so many hybrid work schedules and working from home, many business travelers are looking for places where they can work for a period of time, where they can take their families and have an Airbnb or an apartment in a meeting place. their needs. A lot of people are into outdoor recreation, so our rural communities are able to provide that kind of escape,” she added.
There are six projects involved: White Pine County; Black rock; Lincoln County; Nevada Indian Territory (aimed at strengthening cultural awareness and identity); Boulder City; and Carson City, Carson Valley and Virginia City (which have joined forces.)
Each will be led by a local steering committee representing local business and community stakeholders with an interest in the advancement of tourism. And working with consultancy Better Destinations, they will eventually draw up a 10-year plan to develop their visitor appeal and expand their economies through tourism.
There is a focus on outdoor recreation, nature, culture and the arts.
The program is a world apart from the region’s previous projects. MGM Resorts, for example, set up hotel rooms as offices during the Covid-19 pandemic. This initiative was short-lived as even during an emergency order and strict Covid enforcement, Las Vegas later emerged as the most popular US business travel destination in 2021.
It continued its run as a popular corporate destination in 2022, with 2 million people attending conferences and events from January to May.
So it’s no surprise that the city’s suburbs now want to redirect some of those travelers their way.
“A lot of our rural destinations actually have a lot of things that business travelers are looking for,” Bloomer added. “And they’re accessible from our main hub. If you’re coming to Vegas for a business trip, it’s easy to get to Lincoln County, home to some of our best mountain biking trails.”
The program will also educate Las Vegas concierges and other hospitality employees to become “battleboard insiders” to promote destinations.
Bloomer downplayed the risk that some sites could become overrun with tourists because the program puts local businesses and communities at the center and will work on any capacity and infrastructure issues.
There will be site visits over the next few months to conduct analysis about visitation and visitor segmentation, and to identify any gaps in amenities, according to Bloomer.
“At the same time, we’re doing a lot of capacity building and education-type things with them. Enabling them to be resilient and vibrant destinations,” she added.
More evidence that journey times for business trips are still on the rise, with a new survey revealing hybrid and telecommuting policies are behind the rise.
Advantage Travel Partnership, Britain’s largest consortium of independent travel agents, took the pulse of its travel agency members and one in three reported an increase in the length of business travel trips.
The reason is that hybrid working continues and “work from anywhere” policies that enable travelers to stay in a destination for a longer period, according to its latest Business Impact Survey, published on Thursday.
This week, Marriott International executives also said they believed the pandemic’s increase in travelers who have combined business and leisure travel goals will now have a long-term impact on the hotel sector.
Hybrid working is also the most popular working model in the UK, a new report from mobility platform Mobileo said this week. “Most organizations have favored the hybrid model since the pandemic,” he said, citing research by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development that more than three-quarters of organizations use the model.
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