Gov. Susana Martinez announced Monday, yet another record-breaking year for tourism in New Mexico.
Overall spending by visitors to New Mexico increased by 7 percent in 2013, which translates to roughly $300 million in new revenue taken in by communities throughout the state. As a result of this growth, the leisure and hospitality industry was able to create 1,700 new jobs last year, with an additional 700 new jobs already created between January and May of 2014.
“Tourism is a strong economic driver and a critical component of the diverse economy we are working to create in communities throughout New Mexico,” Martinez said. “More people are experiencing the adventure and beauty of New Mexico and spending more money while they’re here. This leads to new jobs and growth in cities, towns, and villages throughout the state.”
In early 2012, the Tourism Department unveiled the New Mexico True campaign. At the heart of New Mexico True is a promise to tourists that they will experience “adventure steeped in culture” when visiting our state.
In 2013, the advertising effort helped lead to an 11 percent increase in what are known as marketable overnight trips to New Mexico, or vacations, which are the type of trips targeted by the New Mexico True campaign as providing the greatest boost to our economy.
Altogether, the increases represent the third consecutive year of tourism growth in New Mexico (and the second consecutive year of record-breaking tourism growth). Overall visitor spending has grown by more than 24 percent since 2010 and marketable overnight trips are up 38 percent. Over that time period, an additional 2.4 million visitors came to New Mexico, with a record 32.2 million people traveling to the state last year alone.
“It is exciting to see another record-breaking year for tourism,” Tourism Cabinet Secretary Monique Jacobson said. “This data continues to reinforce the point that New Mexico True is working by attracting active visitors who stay longer and spend more money all over the state.”
The Tourism Department is seeing encouraging signs that this momentum will continue through 2014, due in part to the fact that statewide lodging receipts through May 2014 are up 6.1 percent over last year and gross receipts accommodations taxes are up 6.4 percent through the first quarter of 2014.
Since 2011, the Tourism Department has dramatically increased the percentage of its budget dedicated specifically to the advertising and promotion of New Mexico (from 28 percent in 2007-2010 to 68 percent in 2014).