SANTA FE ― The New Mexico Tourism Department (NMTD) announced the results of its economic impact report for 2018, highlighted by record-setting growth in visitor spending.
New Mexico saw a record-setting $7.1 billion in visitor spending in 2018, representing a 7 percent increase from 2017. The 7 percent increase in visitor spending in 2018 was a dramatic increase from the previous report, which showed an increase of 3.2 percent from 2016 to 2017.
The study, produced by Tourism Economics, also reported visitor spending increases in lodging, food & beverage, retail, and recreation for 2018. Visitors to New Mexico spent $2.3 billion on lodging in 2018, which represents an increase of 10.1 percent from 2017. The study also reported visitor spending of $1.6 billion on food and beverage and $1.2 billion on shopping, representing an increase of 5.6 percent and 4.9 percent respectively. The study also reported visitor spending of $899 million on recreation, which is a 6.3 percent increase from 2017. Overall visitor spending has increased by 23 percent since 2013.
“Growing tourism and diversifying our state’s economy is a collaborative effort with the tourism and lodging industry,” Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer said. “Only together can we further expand the destination experience, so the tourism industry can reach its true economic potential.”
Visitor spending supported 8.5 percent of all New Mexico jobs in 2018. According to research released by the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions Oct. 18, the leisure and hospitality sector outpaced all other New Mexico job sectors in year-over-year employment increase with an addition of 7,200 jobs.
Visitor spending generated $694 million in state and local taxes for New Mexico in 2018. The state of New Mexico saw $475 in tax revenue from visitor spending in 2018, and local governments saw $218 in tax revenue from visitor spending in 2018. Overall, visitor spending offset the tax burden on New Mexico residents by $900 per household.
From the start of her administration, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham identified tourism as one of the state’s critical sectors for growth and diversification of New Mexico’s economy.