Over $13m Provided to Nevada Tourism as COVID-19 Relief
Tourism officials in Nevada have decided to provide more than $13 million in relief to the state to promote travel to the region.
Tourism is imperative to areas that rely on visitors to make money, like Nevada. In cities like Las Vegas, a shortage of travelers will lead to lower revenues over all, which hurts the city and the state combined. For the Nevada Commission on Tourism, the group decided that its time to promote the region and will be spending over $13 million to provide promotional opportunities in the region. Visitor bureaus in the state as well as other agencies that relate to travel will be provided funds.
American Rescue Plan Act
The money will be provided to agencies via the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). This act was passed in March by Congress and is money that is to be used to revive the economy. Nevada relies heavily on travel to the Las Vegas region and these funds can help promote the region once again.
When the pandemic began, Nevada was one of the hardest hit states due to its reliance on the hospitality and entertainment industry. Last year, the US Travel Association found that only $679 billion was spent. This was a huge $500 billion decrease from the previous year. Of course, people were not traveling due to the virus and have only started back again this year.
Fewer people were staying at hotels and flying, which pushes a large portion of revenues in Nevada. Travelers come from across the United States and from around the world to visit Las Vegas on a yearly basis. Without this tourism to rely on, the state and city began to see a sharp decline in earnings.
The ARPA is being used to stimulate travel as well as outdoor recreation. There is a new program created by the US Economic Development Administration that is titled Travel, Tourism, and Outdoor Recreation that splits money for both states and territories. After $510 million is distributed, an additional $240 million will be provided via grants.
Las Vegas Receives $7 Million
Last week, the commission voted to approve Las Vegas to receive $7 million of the federal funds. The goal is to use the money in strategic ways to identify and grow travel markets. The money given to Nevada has been split four ways, with the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority receiving the largest portion.
The group will then use the funds to provide marketing opportunities for domestic and international travel. Currently, domestic travel has improved in the region. Once COVID-19 restrictions were loosened in Las Vegas, travelers began coming to the area once again from outside Nevada. However, international travel numbers have remained stagnant.
In the coming weeks, the Biden Administration will be easing travel restrictions for those coming to the US from outside the country. This should help bring international tourism back to Nevada. With the newly released funds, the Convention and Visitors Authority can create programs to appeal to international travelers so they will hopefully travel to the region once again.
Nevada was provided a large number of funds by the federal government due to its large unemployment rate. Because the state relies on casino gaming, tens of thousands of people were without jobs for months. The continued COVID-19 crisis led to less jobs in the hospitality and entertainment industry and those who were laid off moved on eventually due to the need to work.
With more funds, the hope is that travel will come back to Las Vegas and the entire state of Nevada. Once more travel occurs, the state will be able to see better monetary recovery.