Survey: Less visitors to Vegas using travel agencies plan trip

The skyline glows brightly as Uber Technologies partners with Maverick Helicopters during CES in Las Vegas to help attendees experience the Las Vegas Strip from the air on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2017.

More than 60 percent of visitors to Las Vegas in 2017 said they used an online tool to book their travel and accommodations.

The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority released its annual Las Vegas Visitor Profile this week, taking survey results from 3,600 randomly selected visitors. It was prepared by San Francisco-based GLS Research.

Just 10 percent of visitors used a travel agent according to the study, the lowest mark in the past five years, down from a five-year high of 16 percent of travelers using an agent in 2014.

A total of 71 percent of Las Vegas visitors planned their trip at least one month in advance, up from 57 percent in 2016.

Conventions continue to be a big driver of tourism with a record 6.6 million attendees in 2017. A majority of those surveyed indicated that hosting the convention in Las Vegas made attending more attractive, Bagger said.

“That’s helpful to us when we’re trying to woo conventions to come to Las Vegas,” he said. “Part of our sales pitch is that we will help you increase attendance. The brand of Las Vegas will draw people to come to your meeting.”

Downtown saw its highest percent of visitors in the last five years with 57 percent indicating they went downtown. Fremont Street Experience was the main draw with 63 percent of visitors saying that’s why they spent time in downtown.

For the 43 percent who didn’t go downtown, the main reason shifted from they had no interest (37 percent, down from 55 percent in 2014) to they didn’t have enough time (41 percent, up from 23 percent in 2014).

“That mirrors the efforts of resorts and a continued development downtown,” Bagger said. “It’s also complemented by the additional signage downtown, so they’re able to locate and know that they’re in downtown. The new sign added at Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard also helps guide people to the area.”