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by Leo Jakobson | December 17, 2014
If there was any doubt that Las Vegas is back from the rough times it experienced during the downturn, this should set it to rest: The "Entertainment Capital of the World" today announced that more than 40 million visitors came to the city this year, setting a new record. 

The 40 million mark is an important psychological barrier for Las Vegas, which nudged up against it in 2012 with 39,727,000 visitors. If the current trend continues for the remaining two weeks of the year, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) believes tourism could break 41 million. Tourism brings $45 billion to the region annually and supports 376,000 local jobs.

"Las Vegas couldn't have reached this milestone without the continued investments of our resort partners, and the more than 40 million people who came to experience all the destination has to offer," said Rossi Ralenkotter, president and CEO of the LVCVA. "Ongoing developments in the destination, including new, renovated and rebranded resort properties, exciting new attractions, world-class entertainment, incredible culinary offerings and more are what keep first-time visitors and loyalists returning to Las Vegas time and time again."

Business travel, including meetings, incentives, conventions and exhibitions (MICE) are an important part of Las Vegas' tourism industry, which hosts more than 22,000 meetings and conventions annually, adds Chris Meyer, vice president of global business sales of the LVCVA.

"In addition to the ongoing developments in the destination, the meetings and conventions industry has played a key role in setting the record," says Meyer. "Year to date, convention attendance is up 2.2 percent and is on pace to exceed 5 million for the year."

This summer, the LVCVA kicked off a new marketing campaign aimed at the MICE market, highlighting the fact that Las Vegas is a great place to do business. Along with the Vegas Means Business campaign, the new taglines included, "We're Here to Do More Than Entertain You" and "Las Vegas Makes Every Meeting Exciting."