by Michael J. Shapiro | February 13, 2013

Las Vegas welcomed 39.7 million visitors in 2012, according to numbers just released by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, beating the previous high of 39.2 million in 2007. Although the total fell short of the 40 million predicted by LVCVA president and CEO Rossi Ralenkotter a year ago, the record visitation generated more than $40 billion for the local economy and indicates continued recovery for the city. The numbers exceeded the 2011 figure by 2.1 percent. In terms of meetings, 4.9 million people attended a convention, trade show or meeting in Las Vegas last year, a 1.6 percent increase over 2011 and the highest number of convention attendance in four years. The city hosted 21,615 meetings, a 13.6 percent year-over-year increase and the most since 2008. The local hotel industry posted an occupancy increase of 0.6 percent, to 84.4 percent overall, and an average daily rate hike of $3 year-over-year, to $108.