Out of town visitation remained strong as evidenced by the local hotel indicators. According to data provided by STR, Inc. (formerly known as Smith Travel Research) for the 13-day period surrounding Balloon Fiesta (including two days prior and following the event), Visit Albuquerque reports a 9.5 percent increase in average daily rate (ADR) and a 9.5 percent increase in revenue, with a slight decrease in occupancy of 0.8 percent-overall a significant improvement for the city's hotel industry from last year.
"Albuquerque as a destination is experiencing positive momentum within the tourism and hospitality industry, and the hotel indicators from Balloon Fiesta highlight that continued progress," said Tania Armenta, President & CEO of Visit Albuquerque. "Even with visitors having multiple options for where they stay when they travel, the increase in hotel performance is a nod to Albuquerque's unique hotel properties and Southwestern hospitality."
Some area attractions also experienced an increase in visitor attendance. For instance, the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum reported a 12 percent increase in visitation over last year, and Petroglyph National Monument noted an increase of 3.9 percent.
Visit Albuquerque again launched an integrated advertising campaign this year to help promote the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta. Advertising efforts generated more than 3.4 million impressions, and along with additional promotion, the campaign drove more than 88,000 visits to the Balloon Fiesta landing page on VisitABQ.org, an increase of 35 percent over last year. For the period leading up to and during Balloon Fiesta, web sessions increased 20 percent over the daily average, and Visit Albuquerque's social media pages gained hundreds of followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
To further promote Balloon Fiesta and as a way to celebrate fall in Albuquerque, Visit Albuquerque, in conjunction with @TravelNewMexico, launched a photo contest that encouraged entrants to submit photos using the hashtag #PictureABQ. This campaign saw more than 3 million impressions, with 2,000 posts on Instagram and over 600 posts on Twitter using #PictureABQ during the contest period. Many contest photos were also published to PictureABQ.com, Visit Albuquerque's photo collage website. The contest winner was awarded the grand prize of a hot air balloon ride for two.
The 46th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, with the theme "Inflate Your Imagination," is scheduled for Oct. 7 - 15, 2017.