Albuquerque, NM - The Visit Albuquerque (Visit Albuquerque) is pleased to report that amidst the current economic conditions, Albuquerque is among a few destinations that saw increases in lodging demand for 2008. The newly released Smith Travel Report for January reports that Albuquerque saw a 3.3% increase in rooms sold (the measurement of demand) and a 2.6% increase in average daily rate from 2007 to 2008.

This data comes from the Smith Travel Report (STR), which is the lodging report used by the Visit Albuquerque to measure destination performance and is used by top destinations across the country. There are 10 cities in which STR compares Albuquerque’s data. This comparative set includes Austin, Denver, Tucson, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and Phoenix among others.

While Albuquerque saw a gain of 3.3% in rooms sold, the city’s comparative set experienced declines from .7 to 7.3% in rooms sold in 2008. The national average was a decline of 1.6% in demand.

In the current challenging economic times, this is great news for Albuquerque. Even with December numbers decreasing across the comparative set, Albuquerque did not experience as drastic a decline with only a 1.3% decline in rooms sold compared to declines of 2-11% in all of the comparative set cities such as Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City and Phoenix. The average national decline was 6.9%.

Visit Albuquerque attributes the destination’s success in 2008 to a variety of sources. We aggressively marketed Albuquerque’s affordability after AAA ranked the city as one of the country’s most affordable in May to coincide with high gas prices affecting consumers’ travel decisions. In addition to the affordability campaign, the city hosted the US Bowling Congress Championships for 4 ½ months early in the year.

“Our organization and industry have worked very diligently to ensure that the demand for Albuquerque remains strong. The strength of this partnership is reflected in the destination’s performance,” said Dale Lockett, Visit Albuquerque President/CEO. “Albuquerque continues to be one of America’s vest value destinations and we will continue to aggressively promote the area’s affordability and authenticity as we encounter this unchartered territory in the year ahead.”