A Rainbow
A rainbow appears after a rainstorm over hotels on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, July 26, 2003. REUTERS/Ethan Miller

Approximately 39 million tourists will have visited Las Vegas by the end of 2011, according to forecasts from tourism officials. If the prediction does hold good, then this will be only the second time in history that the mark will be reached. However, whether or not it does reach that mark, industry experts believe Vegas tourism continues to show signs of a steady recovery.

After a year and a half of steady growth, we can say with confidence the tourism industry in Las Vegas is in recovery, said Tom Collins, Clark County Commissioner and Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA).

Through the third quarter of 2011, Las Vegas experienced 19 consecutive months of growth, in terms of visitor volumes and the average daily room rate; occupancy at Las Vegas properties has increased more than 4 points to 85.2 percent, more than 20 points ahead of the national average.

We expect the growth we have seen to continue in 2012, said Collins.

The strong tourism industry in Vegas also provided other sectors with a boost. According to LVCVA statistics, the tourism industry employs 263,300 residents of the Southern Nevada city.

As many as 15,800 jobs have been generated by industry since Nov. 2009, boosting sector employment by 6.4 percent, even at a time when leading economic indicators were largely bearish on the Las Vegas economy, the destination marketing agency explained.