LAS VEGAS -- Travel agents ranked Las Vegas the top domestic travel
destination this winter, according to ASTA/Fodor's Winter 2001 Hot
Slightly more than 22% of ASTA member agents surveyed reported
that Las Vegas is the No. 1 domestic travel destination this
winter, trumping last winter's favorite, Orlando, which dropped to
second place with 20.4% of the votes.
These two destinations also appear to be gaining distance on the
competition; last year, Orlando garnered 16.5% of total responses,
Las Vegas 13.1%.
The other big gainers were Hawaii, which moved from sixth place
to third; Los Angeles, and Miami.
The latter two, both known for fun, sun and glamour, bumped the
more-reserved San Diego and San Francisco out of the survey's top
10 this year.
Maloney, ASTA executive vice president and chief operating officer,
said he was not surprised that Las Vegas took top honors.
After Sept. 11, Maloney said, the Las Vegas tourism industry
aggressively marketed itself, "and that was very powerful."
"It was a strong value message, and it wasn't just price. Value
is the combination of price and the offer itself, the quality of
what they're getting."
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority ran a $13
million advertising campaign in October and November, a spokeswoman
said, heavily promoting to the short-haul and drive-in markets of
Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston and Phoenix, along with the
northern and southern regions of California.
The continuing regional marketing effort is supported by
nationwide advertising in USA Today and on cable television, the
Besides the effectiveness and timeliness of Las Vegas' marketing
efforts, Maloney said, "Vegas is an escape. Don't you think a lot
of people were looking for an escape after [Sept. 11]?"
"Being named the top domestic destination bodes extremely well
for Las Vegas, particularly during a time when more travelers are
choosing to stay closer to home," said Manuel Cortez, president and
chief executive of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors
"Las Vegas' reputation as the best place in the world to take a
break from reality certainly enhances its appeal right now."