ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - (Nov. 3, 2015) From Oct. 3 - 11, Albuquerque saw nearly 1 million visitors for the 44th Annual Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta® Presented by Canon, and an increase of more than 100,000 people from last year's event. The estimated attendance was 955,703 visitors, up from 2014's estimated 848,393. According to Balloon Fiesta, this year's event featured more than 550 registered balloon teams representing 17 countries, including 105 special shape balloons.

Balloon Fiesta attributes the increased attendance to a variety of factors, including agreeable weather conditions and new event demonstrations like the Parabatix Sky Racers and Laser Light Shows.

In addition to the increase in visitors to Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque saw positive increases in hotel occupancy during the event as well. According to data provided by STR, Inc. (formerly known as Smith Travel Research), the Visit Albuquerque reports a 5 percent increase in hotel occupancy over last year and a 20.6 percent increase in Revenue Per Available Room (RevPAR). These numbers are the highest the city has seen for Balloon Fiesta in the last five years.

Area attractions also experienced an increase in visitor attendance. The Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, for instance, sold 17,421 tickets over the nine-day festival compared to the 15,767 tickets sold last year.

"Albuquerque as a destination is experiencing positive momentum within the tourism and hospitality industry, and the indicators from Balloon Fiesta significantly underline that progress," said Tania Armenta, Chief Operating & Marketing Officer for Visit Albuquerque. "It's tremendous to see the interest and appreciation for this world-class event continue to grow."

Together with their creative partners at McKee Wallwork + Co., Visit Albuquerque launched an integrated advertising campaign to help promote the 2015 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Advertising efforts generated more than 2 million impressions, and along with additional promotion, the campaign drove more than 65,000 visits to the Balloon Fiesta landing page on

To further promote Balloon Fiesta and as a way to celebrate fall in Albuquerque, Visit Albuquerque launched a photo contest on Instagram and Twitter that encouraged entrants to submit photos using the hashtag #PictureABQ. This campaign saw more than 900 photos using #PictureABQ submitted on the platforms during the contest period, with many being published to, Visit Albuquerque's photo collage website. The contest winner was awarded the grand prize of a hot air balloon ride for her and her guest.

The 45th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, with the theme "Desert Kaleidoscope," is scheduled to launch Oct. 1 - 9, 2016.