Nevada Commission on Tourism reports 136 percent increase in international media value in 2013 vs 2012

CARSON CITY, Nev. —The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) announced today new product offerings and media coverage results for its 2013 international sales and marketing programs.

“The international market is crucial to Nevada’s travel industry and to Nevada’s economic health,” said Claudia Vecchio, Director, Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. While the NCOT has focused on the international market for years, we are seeing tremendous gains as result of enhanced statewide and national marketing efforts”

Visitors from international destinations are seeking the unique combination of Nevada’s well-known cities with the wide open spaces, Western and Native American culture and the spectacular landscapes found throughout the Silver State. These travelers often come as part of large groups and tend to stay longer and spend more than domestic visitors, helping drive revenue to the state.

“Each country requires a slightly different message and sales approach,” says Larry Friedman, Deputy Director/International Sales Director, NCOT.  “While NCOT sells the entire state, each tour operator or travel agent is looking for a specific type of trip for their customers. With the help of our in-country reps, we customize the messages to fit the travel preferences of each audience -- a critical component of our success.”

Tour operators and travel industry executives from all nine countries visited the state in 2013, and NCOT representatives attended at least one sales activity or sales mission in each of those countries.  These efforts that have resulted in international tour operators creating new Nevada product offerings (in addition to the many current tours and itineraries), including:

  • New itineraries from Hana Tours and Mode Tours from South Korea offer additional Nevada destinations, such as Virginia City.
  • A statewide promotion with El Monte RV and Infinity in Australia helps market Nevada’s rural areas to these adventurous visitors.
  • A new itinerary from Brazilian tour operator Ambiental takes visitors from Las Vegas along U.S. 95, to the Reno-Tahoe area.
  • New ski packages are offered this year by Mexican travel and tour companies Viajes el Corte Ingles and American Express Mexico.
  • Americareisen in Austria is offering a new itinerary that starts in Reno-Tahoe, travels U.S. 50 to Great Basin National Park, continuing on U.S. 93 and ending in Las Vegas.

And, a targeted marketing campaign in the United Kingdom via the “America As You Like It” website reported record hits to its section on Nevada as well as sales for Nevada in conjunction with a television campaign featuring the state’s new brand mantra, Nevada: A World Within. A State Apart.

In 2013, media from Canada, France, Germany, Mexico, the United Kingdom and South Korea experienced Nevada first-hand.  International offices report a combined value from these in-market press trips at $15,502,137, a boost of 136 percent year-over year.

Nevada has representation in nine key countries in which travel to the United States is currently popular or is emerging -- markets such as China, South Korea, Brazil and Australia. “NCOT along with our Nevada tourism industry partners, works alongside the U.S. Travel Association and Brand USA to help ensure travelers who want to visit Nevada can do so through an efficient visa application process, welcoming entry points, compelling marketing outreach and a world class visitor experience.”

March 4 marked the 4th anniversary of the Travel Promotion Act being signed into law and establishing Brand USA. In 2012, President Obama launched the National Travel and Tourism Strategy, setting a goal of drawing 100 million international visitors by 2021.  The intent of the bill was to increase international travel to the United States by improving the image of the United States around the world, thereby creating jobs and stimulating economic growth.

Announcement of Nevada’s international outreach success also comes in alliance with the release from the U.S. Department of Commerce that reports international visitors spent a record-breaking $180.7 billion on U.S. travel and tourism-related goods and services in 2013, an increase of more than 9 percent when compared to 2012. 

Nevada has been an industry leader in securing representation in key markets. The Silver State has representation in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Mexico, South Korea, and the United Kingdom. In 2004, NCOT was the first U.S. tourism entity to be granted a license by the Chinese government to open a foreign official tourism department residential representative office in China.

Also in 2013, NCOT maximized its chance to showcase the state to buyers from across the globe. In June, when the U.S. Travel Association’s IPW trade show — the largest generator of travel to the United States — was in Las Vegas. NCOT offered seven familiarization tours throughout Nevada to international media and tour operators.

The Nevada Commission on Tourism (NCOT) is part of the Nevada Department of Tourism and Cultural Affairs. NCOT is responsible for promoting and marketing Nevada as a travel destination to domestic and international travelers. Operating within a performance-based budget structure, NCOT is funded solely by a percentage of lodging tax paid by overnight guests throughout the state. For more, visit www.TravelNevada.biz.