Canadian influx helped Las Vegas’ 2022 international segment as Asia slower to rebound

June 13, 2023 9:39 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
June 13, 2023 9:39 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

Despite a slower return from Asia, international travelers, led by a surge from Canada, came to Las Vegas in much greater numbers in 2022, according to a report released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

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Last year, 3.41 million international visitors came to Las Vegas, easily topping the 1.2 million in 2021 and 1.14 million in 2020 when the pandemic started.

Las Vegas has recovered 60% of its pre-COVID international travel. But it’s behind the high mark of 5.98 million recorded in 2014 coming out of the global recession.

The LVCVA reported 1.87 million of those 2022 visitors were from North America, which includes 989,480 from Mexico and 885,610 from Canada. Mexican visitation held steady from 2021 with an 8% increase, but Canadians had a 471% increase in visitation. Canada continues to lose out in its top ranking to Mexico; in 2019, Canada had 1.48 million visitors to Mexico’s 1.12 million. Mexico jumped ahead of Canada in 2020.

Josh Swissman, founding partner of GMA Consulting, attributed that to Canada having stricter pandemic restrictions than the U.S. and apprehension among Canadians to travel.

“Canada was super strict,” Swissman said. “My wife is Canadian and I remember her family telling me all about that. It was harder for them to come, so they likely felt less inclined to travel than Mexicans.”

Canadian Corey Padveen, a partner with t2 Marketing International, said the country’s surge of visitors in 2022 is a reflection of his nation being gambling-friendly.

“It’s not surprising to see Canada jump at the opportunity to travel back to Vegas,” Padveen said. “A quick trip down makes sense from a country that has a healthy and well-storied gambling economy.”

Canada continued its strength into 2023. The latest available numbers from Harry Reid International Airport show that in April, Canadian airlines led the way internationally, ahead of Mexico and the United Kingdom. WestJet handled 57,758 passengers, Air Canada 51,231, Swoop 20,155, Flair 7,900, and Lynx Air 3,860.

Mexico-based Volaris handled 22,962, VivaAerobus 17,160, and Aeromexico 10,186.

The UK remained the number-three Las Vegas visitor destination with 482,380 visitors in 2022, an increase of more than 800%.

Australia was ranked fourth with 152,030 visitors, a nearly 190% increase over 2021.

Germany rounded out the top five with 125,040 visitors, a more than 500% increase over 2021.

Japan, number five in 2019, was 12th in 2022 with 33,400 visitors, well below the 243,000 in 2019.

China’s 205,000 visitors in 2019 ranked number seven; it was 21st in 2022 with 10,640 visitors.

Korea fared best among Asian countries and was ranked sixth in 2022 with 99,840 visitors, an 871% increase over 2021.

Korea was followed by Brazil, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Spain, Japan, India, Switzerland, Italy, Philippines, Argentina, Belgium, Taiwan, Denmark, China, Israel, Sweden, Austria, Singapore, Turkey, and Norway.