Nevada tourism spending topped $65.8 billion in 2016; new jobs created |

Nevada tourism spending topped $65.8 billion in 2016; new jobs created

CARSON CITY — The Nevada Division of Tourism (TravelNevada) on Feb. 15 announced a preliminary 2016 report showing increased revenue and employment powered by the travel sector.

The report was announced during the industry’s designated education day at the Nevada State Legislature. Hoteliers, visitor bureaus, and others from the travel industry gathered at the Legislature to celebrate and educate legislators about the value of tourism to the state.

“Historically tourism has been the major engine of Nevada’s economy. Today’s preliminary report underscores the fundamental role that tourism plays in Nevada and serves as a testament to the industry’s strength and longevity,” Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, chairman of the Nevada Commission on Tourism, said. “Accounting for almost a third of the state’s General Fund revenues … $3.23 billion in state tax revenues was generated by tourism, which supports and improves the lives of our residents.”

The preliminary report, created by Dean Runyan Associates, a leader in tourism economic analysis and market research, compiles data through November 2016 and projections for December 2016.

A final report will be available this spring and is expected to align with projections, as there were no visible downturns in visitation in the final month of 2016.

Among the report’s findings:

Total travel spending topped $65.8 billion in 2016, an increase of $1.4 billion or 2.2 percent over 2015.

Travel spending supported 492,300 Nevadans in 2016, an increase of 1 percent over 2015. This accounts for approximately 29 percent of the total workforce in Nevada, and the increase continues a five-year trend in Nevada.

State and local tax receipts generated by travel spending increased 3.9 percent, totaling $3.23 billion. This accounts for a quarter of all state and local tax revenues in Nevada.

TravelNevada is the marketing arm of the state of Nevada, promoting travel across the United States and in 10 global markets.

It is funded by the Tourism Promotion Fund, using a designated 3/8 of the 1 percent state lodging tax. The remaining 5/8 is directed to local visitors bureaus and fair boards.

“Lodging tax is revenue generated by visitors to help us promote the state and attract more visitors,” Claudia Vecchio, director of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, said. “TravelNevada’s budget does not draw from the General Fund, so it does not compete with other vital agencies and services for Nevadans. When we see year-over-year increases in visitation, travel-related tax revenue, and new job creation, we are proud that we’re serving our state and bettering the economy for all Nevadans.”

The report will be available on TravelNevada’s industry-focused website, This is a newly redeveloped site that provides information on the agency’s programs, marketing grants, research, and more. For more on TravelNevada’s consumer campaigns and promotional efforts, visit

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