The Visit Albuquerque (Visit Albuquerque) celebrated a successful year in tourism at our 30th Annual Luncheon today. Nearly 350 industry professionals came together to celebrate travel and tourism with presentations by Mayor Richard J. Berry, City Council President Don Harris and Dale Lockett, Visit Albuquerque President/CEO.

The luncheon kicks off National Travel & Tourism Week in Albuquerque. The national celebration has taken place since 1984 with events across the country to champion the power of travel. It was established as National Tourism Week when the U.S. Congress passed a joint resolution in 1983 designating the week to be celebrated in May. Tourism is a $1.3 trillion industry in America.

Travel and tourism in Albuquerque has a huge impact on our city:
• Albuquerque’s second largest private industry generating more than $2 billion annually
• Brings approximately 3 million visitors to Albuquerque each year
• Produces over $30.7 million in local taxes annually
• Employs nearly 25,000 people in Albuquerque
• Conventions/meetings generate more than $65 million in direct spending

Our local National Travel & Tourism Week celebration includes the Unsung Heroes of Tourism program. The Albuquerque 311 Citizen Contact Center was recognized as the 2011 Unsung Heroes of Tourism. The 311 team is relied upon to provide locals, as well as visitors, with accurate information about bus routes, City attractions, events, and lodging by responding to over 1 million in-bound calls annually. The 311 team is active during large events such as the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta as well. A portion of the team was recognized at Visit Albuquerque’s Annual Luncheon today and the entire contact center team will be honored on Thursday, May 12th. This year’s class of Unsung Heroes of Tourism marks the 12th annual recognition, which honors a local community group that has made significant contributions to the city’s tourism industry.

In addition to the Visit Albuquerque Annual Luncheon and the Unsung Heroes of Tourism recognition, the National Train Day event will take place downtown to kick off National Travel & Tourism Week. The Rio Metro Regional Transit district will host the first ever National Train Day on Saturday, May 7th at the Alvarado Transportation Center in Downtown Albuquerque from 1-5pm with entertainment and educational activities.