(Las Vegas, NV/KXNT)- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has announced McCarran International Airport will receive new customs officers to help ease wait times for international travelers arriving in Las Vegas.
“A long wait has negative economic consequences in so many different ways. It’s a poor first impression of our great city. ‘People arrive here and say ‘what in the world is going on here? I can’t even get my bags.’ It’s the world’s greatest tourist destination and people shouldn’t have to feel that way, ” stated Sen. Reid.
Attracting international tourists has been a vital part of Las Vegas’ plan, especially during the economic downturn. According to Rosemary Vassiliadis, Director of Aviation for Clark County, the number of international travelers coming to Las Vegas increased by 41% from 2009-2013. There were 3 million international visitors last year alone.
International travelers typically stay longer and spend 73% more than the average visitor. Rossi Ralenkotter, President of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, says these visitors are vital to the future growth of our economy.
“From the moment visitors step off their plane, they’re expecting us to deliver on our brand promise of an exciting Las Vegas. Waiting in line impacts that experience and has also had an impact on southern Nevada’s economy, ” explained Ralenkotter.
Currently, during peak times at the airport, travelers are experiencing a 60 minute wait to get through the customs process.