Las Vegas will be one of the busiest destinations in the United States this summer


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Planning a long weekend in Vegas? You might want to hurry with reservations as Sin City is set to receive record numbers of visitors this summer – and hotel prices could rise further. In fact, the number of passengers passing through Harry Reid International, the main airport serving the city, is now up 7% compared to 2019.

It’s officially Vegas one of the busiest destinations in the United States this summer.

Aerial view of Resort Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Now that most of the social brakes in the United States have disappeared and even pre-departure testing for international arrivals has been removed, the entertainment capital of the world is back with vengeance. Exciting as this sounds, it remains to be seen if this is good or bad news for vacationers heading to Vegas.

After all, we’ve all seen how pent-up demand for travel in the wake of Covid can drive prices up…dramatically:

Replica of St. Mark's Campanile in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Harry Reid is the best performing airport among the 20 international hubs studied

Having officially surpassed pre-pandemic numbers, Vegas is experiencing a strong economic rebound after two years of stagnation resulting from the pandemic. Heavily dependent on the entertainment industry, the city’s growth had been stunted by the endless loop of Covid restrictions enacted by the US government in its attempts to halt the virus.

Young male tourist photographing Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Fortunately, the vast majority of Covid mandates have been lifted nationwide, and that includes the state of Nevada, where mask use is no longer enforced and collection limits have been removed. Therefore, Harry Reid International has already exceeded pre-pandemic capacity based on May-June 2022 figures alone.

Although it still ranks lower in terms of total passenger numbers, Las Vegas airport has seen the fastest recovery among the world’s major international hubs. According to data published by global travel data provider OAG, it overtook all other airports in the top 20, handling more than 2.6 million passengers, 7% more than before Covid.

Travelers transiting through international airport, busy airport concept

By comparison, the Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta carried 4.6 million passengers – a higher number, but still 16% less than in June 2019. Chicago O’Hare and Dallas/Fort Worth are seeing a similar drop in demand, seeing 19.5 and 2.6 percent fewer passengers, respectively, compared to the pre-Covid era.

In addition to Harry Reid International, of all U.S. airports that ranked in the OAG’s top twenty, only Charlotte Douglas International saw a slight increase in demand (3.5%) this year. Even then, it still trails Sin City’s 7%, making it one of the most sought-after destinations in the United States this summer. based on air traffic alone.

Airplane interior with passengers on the seats

What does this mean for travelers to Vegas?

As we have seen in recent weeks, the lifting of the US testing requirement for international arrivals and the reopening of several tourist sites has sparked a travel frenzy around the world. Therefore, prices have risen sharply in most hotel sectorsovernight stays costing up to 50% more than before in some destinations.

Spirit Aircraft pictured in Las Vegas, possibly at Harry Reid International Airport, before taking off

Although it hasn’t been hit to the same degree as Miami, one of its strongest competitors in the summer travel market, similar price increases cannot be ruled out in Sin City. Several destinations in the United States have faced staffing constraints amid the current increase in travel and may not be able to cope with the influx of tourists.

Unlike Florida and most of its American counterparts, which have been plagued by major disruptions lately, Vegas is doing relatively well so far. Harry Reid International has reported far fewer flight delays and cancellations since the start of the season, indicating it has a better chance of escaping the chaotic summer of 2022 with most of its schedule packed. , even unscathed.

Exterior view of the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States

Vegas is doing just fine…by the minute

There have also been fewer reports of staff shortages from Vegas resorts, hotels and casinos compared to other domestic destinations. Even then, Nevada’s number one destination is surely not immune to the problems facing the travel industry. With the testing rule for international air passengers now gone, arrival figures could explode.

As demand increases amid limited availability, the cost of airfares and hotels also increases. Vegas may have rooms galore to get through the season, but the offer is not unlimited. This means travelers to Vegas are strongly advised to make their reservations as soon as possible before the crowds return and spending starts to mount.

Read more:

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Spirit announces three new nonstop flights to Las Vegas starting at $65

Large crowds return to Las Vegas as casinos post near-record numbers

Top 6 Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip

10 Adventurous Things to Do Near Las Vegas

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