The Health and Safety of Travelers
The majority of inbound Las Vegas tourism during COVID has been from drive markets. Additional mandates for Domestic Air Travelers would have a negative impact on Las Vegas’ visitation numbers. The additional steps would “make it more cumbersome for travelers to fly. There are already significant steps that airlines and local Las Vegas Resort Casino companies are taking to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
An example of mandated testing is Hawaii. It is also an example of how mandated testing can hurt visitation rates.
The Hawaiian Islands, which require proof of a negative COVID-19 test from visitors, saw visitation drop 77 percent between November 2019 and November 2020, according to Nevada's Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism. Las Vegas, by comparison, saw a 57 percent drop in that time frame, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.
The upside for Hawaii is the COVID-19 positivity rate. Hawaii has a 2.7 percent seven-day test positivity rate, compared with 10.3 percent in Nevada, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. How you weigh, health concerns vs the economy, one against the other I don't know.
The U.S. Travel Industry has set a goal of 116 million annual visitors by 2028. There are number of policies that could help the U.S. Travel Industry reach this goal.
The USTA is pushing for the country to boost travel demand with economic stimuli: establish a national plan to build confidence in domestic travel; get a handle on the virus by adhering to health and safety protocols and accelerating vaccine distribution; and reopen international travel through COVID-19 testing protocols and the removal of travel bans. These measures working with the Co-Operation of the Federal Government could shorten the recovery time. The Federal Government's involvement, absent until now, is mandatory for a quick recovery.
These efforts should help the Travel Industry’s recovery timeline. The Las Vegas Casino Industry is convinced the Travel Industry looking at five years to reach pre-pandemic levels is to long.