LAS VEGAS - The Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration (ITA) and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) are joining forces to promote travel and tourism exports. Acting Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Kenneth Hyatt today joined Clark County Commissioner Tom Collins, Chairman of the LVCVA Board of Directors, and LVCVA President/CEO Rossi Ralenkotter to sign a Trade Promotion Partner Memorandum of Agreement between ITA and the LVCVA to become a strategic partner of ITA's U.S. & Foreign Commercial Service.
"LVCVA and ITA share a common mission to increase travel and tourism in the United States in order to boost our economy and create jobs," said Hyatt. "I am pleased to commemorate our new partnership that will be instrumental in helping the Southern Nevada region increase the number of international visitors it attracts."
The partnership brings together the expertise of the ITA and the LVCVA to help Southern Nevada businesses engage in more activities to strengthen Nevada's tourism sector and to increase the U.S. market share of worldwide travel. Additionally, the partnership will promote international travel to the United States and help advance President Obama's National Travel and Tourism Strategy. The LVCVA, which operates the nation's only convention center designated as a World Trade Center and one of the largest convention centers in the United States, will build awareness about the importance of tourism through outreach at trade shows. LVCVA will also host a series of international matchmaking events designed to increase the number international buyers attending trade shows in Las Vegas.
President Obama's National Travel and Tourism Strategy aims to attract and welcome 100 million international visitors annually to the United States by the end of 2021. These visitors are estimated to spend more than $250 billion. The strategy also maps out what the government can and will do to enable job growth in the travel and tourism industry.
"Partnerships like the one signed today are greatly important in helping us all work together to reach the goal laid out by President Obama," Hyatt said.
Las Vegas is a key destination for international travelers. Currently, 17 percent of visitors are international, and during the next decade, the LVCVA's goal is to increase the number to 30 percent. The travel and tourism industry is the state's number one industry, supporting almost 450,000 jobs in Nevada with more than $56.5 billion in visitor spending annually. Las Vegas hosted a record 39.7 million visitors in 2012, and hosted more than 21,000 meetings and conventions. The Trade Show News Network ranked Las Vegas the No. 1 trade show destination in North American for the 19th consecutive year this spring.
"Tourism drives the economic vitality of Las Vegas and supports nearly half of all the jobs in Southern Nevada," said Commissioner Collins. "The business community understands the importance of the industry."
"Partnerships like this will help us achieve our goal of 30 percent market share of overall visitation to Las Vegas," said Ralenkotter. "We will leverage the strength of the Las Vegas brand and the Las Vegas Convention Center's World Trade Center designation to further position Las Vegas as a global business destination and capitalize on opportunities to expand America's number one service export - travel and tourism."
A key component of the United States export success, travel and tourism accounted for a 27 percent of all services exports and 8 percent of all U.S. exports in 2012.
"These statistics show how vitally important travel and tourism is to the economic well-being of the United States. I am pleased to represent the Department of Commerce at IPW and to witness the signing of this important partnership," said Hyatt.