Government Scandals May Threaten Las Vegas' Growth

While fundamentals in Las Vegas have been approaching the record levels set in 2012, scandals remain a threat to undermine potential growth for travel agents in coming years.

Las Vegas has been under fire from the U.S. government following the investigation of 2010 General Services Administration (GSA) conference scandal, as legislators have attempted to hold the destination responsible for the largesse of exorbitant government spending. Travel Agent's George Dooley reports that the U.S. Travel Association has urged investigators to focus their sights on government employees who abused their power instead of the hotels at which government workers stayed.

"Any Member of Congress who thinks this issue is about a particular destination is missing the forest for the trees," said Roger Dow, president and CEO of the U.S. Travel Association. "Anytime, or in anyplace, that federal officials spend taxpayer dollars irresponsibly, it is an affront to the American people and the hardworking men and women of the travel industry." It is unclear whether the fallout from this scandal will affect the sales of leisure travel agents moving forward; if the destination receives reduced government business, however, it could mean an increase in overall rates that could affect sales.

In a stroke of good news for Las Vegas, the International Pow Wow will return to Sin City in 2013 and draw international visitors to check out the destination. This is indicative of the increase in international leisure travel, which bodes well for the market. Agents can look to capitalize on selling a number of upgraded hotel properties at low rates, especially to international visitors who spend more on average than their American counterparts.