President Barack Obama’s administration today chose Las Vegas to be its first official partner to promote international trade and tourism in the United States with a first-ever agreement to coordinate trade promotion and other activities.
Some 66 million international visitors last year generated a record $168 billion in economic activity, which created about 1.2 million jobs across the United States, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Locally, about 6 million international visitors drove some $7.6 billion in economic activity in the Las Vegas area, which supported more than 66,000 jobs during 2012.
“Travel, tourism and exports create American jobs, and we continue to work to promote more growth,” said Kenneth E. Hyatt, acting deputy under secretary for international trade, U.S. Dept. of Commerce. “Las Vegas is a critical partner, and I look forward to continuing the partnership.”
The Dept. of Commerce promotes job creation, economic growth, sustainable development and improved standards of living for all Americans, and the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) wants to reach a 30 percent international visitors rate within 10 years, and today, it was the first to partner with the U.S. Dept. of Commerce during its monthly Board of Directors meeting.
Planning to boost Las Vegas’ international visitors’ rate from 17 percent, the LVCVA and the U.S. Dept. of Commerce will promote travel and tourism exports and create marketing jobs. Travel and tourism is America’s No. 1 service export, generating an estimated economic impact of $2 trillion and supporting one in eight jobs.
Marking the partnership was a ceremonial signing among LVCVA board members and Hyatt, making this the first time the U.S. Dept. of Commerce has come to Las Vegas to strike an agreement targeting international visitation.
To further enhance Las Vegas as a major tourist destination, board members renewed former Mayor Oscar Goodman’s two-year independent contractor agreement as chair of the LVCVA Host Committee, which focuses on getting the Las Vegas business community involved in welcoming visitors when high-profile events and conventions are in town.
With his signature martini in hand and two scantily clad showgirls on each arm, Goodman said, “My wife gave me immunity with the girls.” His wife, Carolyn Goodman, is the mayor of Las Vegas and a member of the LVCVA board.
Goodman explained that he would let a short video do the talking for him, which included promotions of his memoir “Being Oscar” and discussion about his time as a mob lawyer and what brought him to Las Vegas. He is also credited with revitalizing Las Vegas.