CARSON CITY, Nev. – Leaders in the tourism industry gathered at the Nevada State Legislature today to share the message that “Tourism Works for Nevada,” the theme of this year’s Tourism Day, Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, announced today.
The day’s theme highlights the fact that tourism is the No. 1 industry in Nevada, accounting for $2.7 billion in state and local tax revenue, or 26 percent of the state’s total tax revenue.
“Travel and hospitality is a serious business with endless ripples through the state’s economy,” Vecchio said. “The importance of this industry cannot be overstated, and we are taking that message to the Legislature and the public on ‘Tourism Day.’”
In addition to revenue, tourism impacts employment in the Silver State. Thirty percent of jobs, or 447,000 Nevadans, are employed by the tourism industry, representing a payroll of some $19 billion.
“Jobs are the bottom line. Jobs are where we can proudly say that tourism is working for Nevada,” Vecchio said. “More visitors coming to Nevada directly impacts how many Nevadans have a job, take home a paycheck, keep their homes and can buy food and goods for their families.”
The mission of the Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) is to attract visitors to the state to increase tax revenue, and this year marks the 30th year since the agency was created with that mission in mind. It was created as the only agency to markets travel to the entire state, funded by a fraction of the statewide lodging tax paid. The self-perpetuating budget allows NCOT to market the state as well as award grants to rural communities to market themselves.
NCOT has a presence in nine countries, contracting with representative offices in eight countries and running a satellite office in one. These countries are the United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Germany, France, Brazil, Australia, and South Korea, and the satellite office is in China. International visitors typically spent more time and more money while on vacation in the United States than do domestic visitors, a primary reason why NCOT has expanded its international reach over the last three decades and continues to look at emerging markets.
In April, for the first time in the state’s history, the Governor will unveil a statewide brand for national and international marketing. The brand, conceived by the Commission on Tourism’s agency of record Burson-Marsteller, aims to convey a cohesive message for all Nevada’s business, leisure, education and natural resources entities.
“As the marketplace changes and grows, NCOT and its partners throughout the state are adapting to stay ahead of the curve, always with our mission in mind: Attract more visitors to the state,” Vecchio said. “This is an exciting time in tourism because we are seeing more visitors come to our state, the genesis of a cohesive state brand, and a clear calling to work together as a single unit with a single goal: economic growth.”
For more information on the Nevada Commission on Tourism’s programs to increase visitation to the state, and for more detailed data, visit www.TravelNevada.biz.
Chris Moran has lived in Reno since 1996, and currently works at the Nevada Division of Tourism as a public relations specialist. She is a former editor and writer at the Reno Gazette-Journal, and has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley. Her hobbies include skiing, hiking, reading, photography, coffee and coffeehouses, and exploring Nevada. Check out her blog at www.ChrisinNevada.wordpress.com.