Survey describes Las Vegas’ average tourist

Steve Marcus

Tourists take photos at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign Saturday, March 14, 2015, on the Strip.

By John Katsilometes (contact)

Sunday, April 10, 2016 | 2 a.m.

Who are the 41 million people who visited Las Vegas last year? Whence do they originate, and what brought them here?

The Las Vegas Visitors and Convention Authority has an idea.

Each year, the LVCVA recruits GLS Research of San Francisco to ask visitors those questions and many more to develop the annual Las Vegas Visitor Profile. The 65-page document is available at

Tourists were targeted at casinos, hotels, motels and RV parks. Those questioned were at least 21 years old and were not residents of Clark County. Only tourists who planned to leave Las Vegas within 24 hours were surveyed.

Here is what was learned:

  • The average age of Las Vegas tourists was 47.7 in 2015, down from 49 in 2011 and up from 44.8 in 2012. In all, 65 percent of visitors here are older than 40.
  • 47 percent of visitors said the primary purpose of their trip was vacation or pleasure, down from 50 percent in 2011.
  • 16 percent of the tourists were visiting the city for the first time, a steady figure since 2011. Of those, 73 percent were visiting for vacation or pleasure.
  • 57 percent of all visitors arrived by ground transportation (cars, RVs and buses); 43 percent arrived by air.


  • 48 percent used their own vehicle for transportation.


  • 28 percent used cabs to travel within the valley, down from 32 percent in 2014.
  • 10 percent used the Las Vegas Monorail, up from 6 percent in 2011.
  • 73 percent booked their room online; 48 percent used the Internet to book transportation.
  • 25 percent used social media websites to arrange for accommodations, down from 28 percent in 2014, and 29 percent used hotel websites, down from 41 percent in 2014. The remainder of online bookings were made mostly through travel platforms such as, and
  • 15 percent of visitors used a travel agent.
  • 32 percent visited downtown Las Vegas. Of those, 59 percent said the main reason was to visit the Fremont Street Experience.
  • Every visitor surveyed said he or she stayed in Las Vegas overnight.
  • 92 percent stayed in a hotel.
  • The average stay was 3.4 nights and 4.4 days.
  • The average group included two people, and 8 percent said they had someone under age 21 in their party, down from 10 percent in 2011.
  • The average visitor spent $292 on food and drink, up from $274.69 in 2011.
  • The average visitor spent $122.66 shopping, down from $129.34 in 2011.
  • 73 percent of visitors gambled, down from 77 percent in 2011. Of those, the average person spent 2.9 hours per day gambling, and the average gambling budget was $578.54, up from $447.63 in 2011.
  • 60 percent visited between five and 10 casinos.
  • 88 percent of people who gambled did so on the Strip.
  • 61 percent attended a show, and 72 percent visited a lounge. Of those, 41 percent attended Broadway-style shows, 26 percent attended a performance by a big-name headliner, 12 percent attended a comedy performance, 7 percent attended a magic show and 5 percent attended an impersonator or tribute show.
  • 61 percent decided which show to see after arriving to the city.
  • 44 percent visited a “no-cover” hotel bar or lounge, up about 10 percent from 2011 to 2013; 5 percent went to a hotel nightclub with a cover charge, down from a peak of 9 percent in 2012.
  • 79 percent of visitors were married.
  • 85 percent earned a household income of $40,00 or more.
  • 56 percent had a college degree.
  • 53 percent were from the West, and 29 percent were from California, the most of any state.
  • 16 percent were international visitors.
  • 16 percent visited “nearby places” during their trip. Of those, 67 percent visited the Grand Canyon, and 51 percent visited Hoover Dam.
  • 33 percent of visitors planned their trip 15 to 30 days in advance; 26 percent, 31 to 60 days in advance, and 14 percent more than 90 days in advance.
  • 1 percent planned their trip on the day of their trip (the “Swingers” demo, or as I call them, “my people”).
  • 72 percent of visitors said they were “extremely” or “very” likely to return for a future vacation.