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Reno Tahoe welcomed 5.1 million visitors

Editors Note: The full 2007 Reno Tahoe Visitor Profile Study is available online here
Destination and activity photos are available - please contact Jill Stockton at jstockton@rscva.com or 775-827-7654.

RENO, Nev. (Thursday, April 17, 2008) The Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) announced that an estimated 5.1 million people visited Washoe County in 2007, according to its annual visitor profile study released today. The study, conducted by Reno-based market research firm InfoSearch International, details travelers’ visitation patterns, budgets, methods of travel and overall characteristics based on post-trip interview responses provided by 2,400 adults who visited Reno, Sparks and Incline Village in 2007.

Year-over-year visitor volume remained steady and per capita trip spending was flat at $1,045. Visitors said they spent 9.5 percent more on accommodations compared to 2006, with a mean nightly room rate of $80. The rise in reported accommodation spending closely parallels an 8.8 percent annual increase in Reno-Tahoe’s average hotel/motel daily rate, according to the RSCVA.

"One of the goals of the RSCVA strategic plan is to move the destination towards an average daily room rate that is more in line with other destinations in our competitive set. There are fantastic hotels in this region, and it is encouraging to see that visitors are willing to pay more for the quality that they find here," said President and CEO Ellen Oppenheim. "The report also indicated that 52 percent of repeat visitors said they feel that the area has improved as a destination, which I see as a positive result of the renaissance that is taking place throughout the entire region."

California continues to be the primary feeder market, accounting for 48 percent of all visitors. Of those who visited from the Golden State, 19 percent came from the San Francisco Bay Area, 12 percent came from the Central Valley, and 9 percent came from Southern California. Visitor volume from Southern California increased by 3 percent between 2006 and 2007.

"According to the study, 34 percent of Southern Californians arrived here by air in 2007 compared to 28 percent in 2006," said Oppenheim.  "In 2007 Delta Air Lines, ExpressJet Airlines and Southwest Airlines added new service from Southern California which positively impacted our ability to grow visitor volume from that region." 

Getaways remained the most popular reason to visit, with 24 percent of respondents reporting a vacation as the primary reason to come to Reno Tahoe. Fifteen percent visited primarily to game, however 85 percent of all respondents gamed while in Reno Tahoe. Approximately one out of six visitors (17%) reported that they attended a convention, meeting or tradeshow in 2007, and 17 percent attended one of the region’s popular special events during their visit.

The top five activities in which visitors participated while visiting Reno Tahoe were gaming (85%), shopping (56%), sightseeing (43%), entertainment (33%) and visiting friends and family (29%). Fifteen percent of respondents indicated that they skied, golfed or engaged in other types of recreation while in Reno Tahoe.

Other key information from the 2007 study includes:

  • 55 percent of visitors traveled by vehicle and 38 percent traveled by air
  • One in five respondents were first-time visitors
  • The mean number of nights that overnight visitors spent in Reno-Tahoe was 3.3
  • The median visitor age was 56
  • Visitors who rated their trip as "excellent" increased from 45 percent to 50 percent year over year


In addition to intercepting visitors at major hotel-casinos, new intercept points were added to capture a more diverse group in 2007. New intercept points included convention facilities, the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, the train station, museums and recreation areas. Potential respondents were asked if they would participate in a survey after completing their Reno Tahoe visit. Those who agreed were interviewed by telephone (57%) or online (43%).

The RSCVA is the primary tourism agency supporting convention and tourism business for the Reno Tahoe region.  Reno Tahoe USA, supports unlimited possibilities from outdoor recreation to 24-hour Nevada style gaming and entertainment.  For more information about Reno-Tahoe call 800-FOR-RENO (800-367-7366) or visit www.VisitRenoTahoe.com.