Las Vegas visitation fell 4.4 percent in 2008 to 37.5 million people with especially large drops occurring late in the year.
On Tuesday the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority addressed the plunging numbers, which also show a decline in spending by tourists that’s costing business and government in Clark County millions of dollars and thousands of jobs.
Convention attendance was down 5 percent to 5.9 million people, the average daily room rate fell 9.8 percent to $119 and the occupancy rate fell 4.4 percentage points to 86 percent.
“That only tells part of the story,” said the authority’s marketing vice president Terry Jicinsky, of the figures.
As the recession deepened late in the year, numbers for Las Vegas tumbled with the economy.
In December visitation fell 10.9 percent and room rates fell 14.2 percent to $96.39.
Researcher Kevin Bagger forecast more tough times in 2009. He said visitation will fall another 4 percent to 5 percent and occupancy will hover around 81 percent to 83 percent.