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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
In order to do something so brash it has to stay in Vegas, you have to have a place to stay in Vegas, and LasVegas.com’s new hotel-booking capabilities will help some travelers in that quest. The lack of user reviews, though, is one of the relaunched site’s drawbacks.
In case you are confused about this major U.S. travel destination, LasVegas.com is run by the LVCVA, which also operates the Las Vegas Convention Center and Cashman Center.
Both LasVegas.com and Vegas.com make claims of officialdom, with LasVegas.com proclaiming it is “the only official website for the destination,” while Vegas.com’s tagline is: “The Official Vegas Travel Site.”
With its new capabilities, LasVegas.com offers the ability to book hotels, air and hotel packages, and dining reservations through OpenTable, a spokesperson says. It was previously purely an informational site.
One glaring omission on LasVegas.com, for now at least, is the lack of user reviews while Vegas.com offers reviews from “verified purchasers.”
The website launch coincides with the debut of a new ad campaign for the destination.
LasVegas.com’s new booking capabilities fit into a trend with some destination management organizations around the world doing likewise, and adding booking features.
It can be a controversial endeavor, however, because the the LVCVA and other tourism boards are now competing against some of their partners.
One expert, Joe Buhler of BuhlerWorks, endorses the concept, saying:
My philosophy for a DMO has always been that it should never turn away a potential visitor at any touch point and complete a transaction for a service to make the process from research to booking seamless. Not only is this a necessary customer service in today’s market but also a service to local service providers. I have no idea why this seems to be, in this day and age, still a controversy in some destinations and looked on as a public intervention in the private sector. Baloney, I say!
A spokeswoman for the LVCVA says it merely views LasVegas.com’s new hotel-booking capabilities as giving travelers additional choices in their trip-planning efforts.