Las Vegas to benefit from US Lifting International COVID-19 testing

Posted: June 10, 2022, 9:28 a.m.

Last update: June 10, 2022, 9:37 a.m.

Las Vegas stands to be one of the biggest beneficiaries of the United States’ decision to lift its COVID-19 testing requirement for international travelers.

Las Vegas COVID-19 tests Biden's international flights
A traveler at Los Angeles International Airport undergoes a COVID-19 nasal swab test on November 23, 2020. The U.S. government is lifting the requirement for COVID-19 testing for international travelers. Las Vegas expects to soon see an influx of foreigners as a result. (Picture: AP)

The Biden administration announced today that effective Sunday, June 12 at 12:01 a.m. EDT, those wishing to travel to the United States by air will no longer need to present a negative COVID-19 test to board. in their plane. Federal officials say the decision comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention determined that such testing was no longer necessary.

Las Vegas, which is thriving on persistent pent-up domestic demand, will likely see the return of another key demo – the high-roller Asian segment. International travel at Harry Reid International Airport remained down 80% last year.

The end of testing requirements for inbound US travelers is very good news for the travel industry and international travelers who may have been hesitant to visit the US in favor of other destinations where testing was not available. not obligatory”, Lindsey Roeschke, travel and hospitality analyst at Morning Consult, noted Casino.org.

Roeschke explained that domestic travel far exceeds international travel in terms of recovery. A recent poll found nearly 4 in 10 Americans say testing requirements make them less willing to travel abroad. Travel experts believe US testing policies have kept some foreigners away in 2021, and so far this year.

Long live Las Vegas

Las Vegas casino executives and gaming analysts have predicted a rush of activity among domestic gamblers in the aftermath of the pandemic’s most oppressive times. This proposition has come true, as Nevada casinos are experiencing unprecedented gambling.

Nevada is not alone. Several other states, including Pennsylvania, Maryland and Ohio, are reporting record game action.

Nevada is the wealthiest gambling state in the country. Casinos there have won over $1 billion in each of the past 14 months.

Las Vegas and the Strip saw a notable increase in visitation in April after a federal judge repealed the Biden administration’s mask mandate on planes, buses and trains. With international customers now able to travel to Southern Nevada without having to take a test, business is only expected to improve further.

“I am pleased that the CDC has suspended the onerous coronavirus testing requirement for international travelers, and I will continue to do all I can to support the strong recovery of our hospitality industry,” said Democratic Nevada Senator Catherine. Cortez Masto.

Visitor volume remains low

Las Vegas casinos are bringing in record numbers of games. But the overall volume of visitors to the world’s most famous gambling city remains suppressed compared to 2019 before the pandemic. However, rates continue to trend towards a full recovery.

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), visitor volume on January 22 was 27% lower than the same month in 2019. But in April, the gap was partially closed with a deficit of only 5% compared to to April 2019.

In 2019, the LVCVA said foreigners made up about 14% of the 42.5 million people who visited the city that year. The international segment tends to spend more on entertainment and dining, and gamble more as they stay in town longer.

Foreign guests stayed an average of 4.2 nights in Las Vegas in 2019. Domestic guests stayed an average of 3.4 nights.