|By Richard N. Velotta, Las Vegas
SunMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
April 11, 2012--The prototypical Las Vegas visitor in 2011 was a 49-year-old, white, married, Southern California man who has a college degree and earns $100,000 a year or more.
He came here with someone else, spent at least three nights, paying about $84 a night for a room purchased online after some Internet research. He drove here and spent about $275 for food and beverages, $135 for shopping, $65 for transportation, $48 for shows and $11 for sightseeing.
More than likely, he didn't venture downtown.
He spent about three hours a day gambling with a budget of $448 -- he's gradually spent less gambling over the last five years and has become less likely to return to Vegas because there are casinos closer to home.
That's the snapshot the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority captured in its 2011 Visitor Profile Study using the resources of its marketing research staff and San Francisco-based GLS Research.
A summary of the report was presented Tuesday to the LVCVA's board of directors.
The report was developed from 300 interviews a month through the year by GLS researchers questioning Las Vegas visitors.
Kevin Bagger, the LVCVA's senior director of marketing, said the information provided in the 104-page report would help the agency develop marketing strategies and enable resorts and attractions in Las Vegas to better understand their customers.
The LVCVA bases most of its budget and advertising decisions on market research. In fiscal year 2013, the LVCVA plans to spend $85.1 million for advertising and $33.4 million for marketing.
Visitor profile studies, which have been compiled for 35 years, enable the LVCVA to observe trends over time. They've been valuable in quantifying visitor behavior during the recession and helping resorts determine their strengths and weaknesses.
In addition to demographic profiles, the study addresses the types of properties visitors seek, how they find out about them, frequency of visits, transportation, activities, places visited, entertainment, what they thought of their visit and whether they would come back.
The survey also has started exploring how people use social media to decide what to do in Las Vegas.
Among key findings in the 2011 report:
--The proportion of visitors who gambled in Las Vegas hasdeclined from 85 percent in 2008 to 77 percent in 2011.
--Among those who gambled, their budget has gotten smaller. In 2007, average visitors said they budgeted $556 to play. In 2011, it was $448.
--Fewer people are attending shows in Las Vegas -- 60 percent last year compared with 72 percent in 2008. They are more often going to lounge shows with fewer paying to see headliners or comedians.
--The satisfaction rate with Las Vegas is very high -- 99 percent are either very or somewhat satisfied with the experience. The biggest reasons for not being satisfied are hotel complaints and the trip being too short or too expensive.
(c)2012 the Las Vegas Sun (Las Vegas, Nev.)
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