LAS VEGAS - Tourism is the economic driver of the Southern Nevada economy, and water is a precious resource in the region. The LVCVA and the local community will celebrate both on Friday, September 27, with the marking of World Tourism Day, which is themed, "Tourism and Water: Protecting Our Common Future."
World Tourism Day was established by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in 1980 to foster awareness among the international community of the importance of tourism and its social, cultural, political, and economic value.
"We obviously know the value of both tourism and water here in Las Vegas, so it's particularly poignant for us to join in the honoring of World Tourism Day this year," said Oscar B. Goodman, chairman of the Las Vegas Host Committee. "I'll be doing my part by celebrating tourism and conserving water by drinking martinis. We are a very water smart community, and we are proud to be participating in this celebration."
Tourism is the lifeblood of the Southern Nevada economy, generating $45 billion in economic impact and supporting nearly half the jobs in the area (382,000). Nearly 70 percent of room tax generated by guests staying in our resorts goes directly back in to the community, supporting the construction of schools parks and roads to improve our way of life. This year, approximately $340 million in visitor paid room tax revenue will directly benefit Southern Nevada residents. Since 1998, more than $1 billion in room tax has gone toward public education.
Southern Nevada also has a long history of water conscious efforts, particularly in the hotel community. Many of our resorts make conservation a key part of their business plan, with initiatives, such as environmentally friendly and water conscious laundry facilities, policies encouraging guests to conserve water by re-using bedding and towels for more than one day, low flow bathroom fixtures, desert landscaping, and even using non-potable or recycled water for water features and landscape watering.
"Resorts use only about 3 percent of our water supply, yet our business community is committed to water efficiency. Industries participating in the SNWA's Water Efficient Technologies Program have saved our community more than 1.75 billion gallons of water. As part of the Water Conservation Coalition, businesses also have joined together to help retrofit underprivileged communities and aging schools with water-efficient fixtures and landscaping," said Pat Mulroy, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority and the Las Vegas Valley Water District.
Southern Nevada also features several natural water attractions. Lake Mead and the Colorado River provide residents and visitors to the area a respite from the heat and the opportunity to enjoy their favorite water activities. And the Springs Preserve provides a historical and natural look at water's role in the area, and will be hosting a special lecture series in honor of World Tourism Day on September 27, featuring several discussions on the importance of water and conservation efforts.
The LVCVA encourages everyone to join in the celebration of World Tourism Day through your social media outlets by sharing you and your company's efforts to conserve water. Use the hashtag #WTD2013 on Twitter and share your photos with the UNWTO for their photo competition at www.wtd.unwto.org.