Las Vegas in India


Las Vegas, the name that spells casinos and holidays, is trying to woo the growing Indian outbound. It is the l;atest destination to appoint a rep in India in an obvious bid to boost arrivals from India and to increase awareness in a country with a large middle and upper middle class wanting to experience the outside world.

Rafael Villanueva, director international sales Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, told this correspondent during a recent visit to India, that the decision to open a rep office in India was based on a report of a consultant, who thought that emerging markets like India had nuch potential and needed to have the presence of the gambling and entertainment hub of the world.

After much research, and global strategy plan, the LVCVA has appointed Connect Worldwide India to represent it in India. The company is headed by Sanjay and Vasudha Sondhi, who have a track record in making success of such rep work. Vani Singh is the country manager.
Rafael said that this will be the 12th office of the Authority, which cover 75 countries.
Interestingly, one of the reasons for the new initiative is to see that the 30,000 new rooms in hotels coming up in LV by 2012 are filled by Indian guests.
Another task for the Indian office will be to brief the developers in Las Vegas on what the Indian market wants by way of facilities, cuisine and attractions.
LV is increassingly trying to get an image as an entertasinment destination for families, rather than just gambling.

To start with, the efforts will be to convince the Indians going to the US, to include LV in their itinerary. Later, exclusive trips to Las Vegas would also be promoted, Rafeal said.

Among the hotel chains coming up in LV are the Mandarin, Grand Hyatt and Shangrila.
At present Las Vegas has 137,000 rooms, enjoying 90 per cent occupancy. The Authority expects to have the same occupancy levels when the capacity shoots up to 175,000 rooms. And in this Connect Worldwide India is expected to play an important part.