ALBUQUERQUE, NMThe Visit Albuquerque (Visit Albuquerque) is pleased to announce that city and state solid waste employees have been selected as the 2007 “Unsung Heroes of Tourism.” This is an annual award presented by the Visit Albuquerque in conjunction with National Tourism Week events. The City of Albuquerque Solid Waste Management Department and the Albuquerque Litter Crew (a division of the New Mexico Environment Department Solid Waste Bureau) were chosen based on their dedication and commitment to making Albuquerque a clean destination for visitors and residents.

National Tourism Week, May 12 – 20, 2007, is an initiative led by the Tourism Industry Association of America. States, cities and tourism organizations across the country celebrate National Tourism Week to highlight the importance of tourism to the local economy and community. The “Unsung Heroes of Tourism” designation is an annual method of honoring a local community group that has made significant contributions to the city’s tourism industry but often goes unrecognized for their efforts.

The Visit Albuquerque and the Albuquerque Isotopes will celebrate National Tourism Week on Monday, May 14th during the Isotopes game at 6:35pm with “Hospitality/Tourism Night at the Ballpark.” More than 800 solid waste employees and hospitality industry representatives are expected to attend. The City of Albuquerque Solid Waste Department and the Albuquerque Litter Crew from the New Mexico Environment Department Solid Waste Bureau will be recognized as the “Unsung Heroes of Tourism” throughout the game. These employees will also be recognized during the Visit Albuquerque Annual Luncheon on Wednesday, May 16th at 11:30am at the Albuquerque Embassy Suites.

“The employees from the city and state solid waste departments play a crucial role in keeping Albuquerque clean and beautiful for visitors and residents alike and they exemplify the unsung heroes of tourism,” said Dale Lockett, Visit Albuquerque President/CEO. “In partnership with the Albuquerque Isotopes, we are pleased to honor these employees with recognition as the 2007 Unsung Heroes of Tourism in appreciation of their great work.”

National Tourism Week is an annual event sponsored by Travel Industry of America (TIA) to increase awareness of the industry’s impact on local communities. Tourism is a $1.3 trillion industry in America and is Albuquerque’s second largest private industry generating more than $2 billion annually. Albuquerque is host to approximately three million visitors each year, who bring in more than $162 million in local and state taxes each year.
Past “Unsung Heroes of Tourism” include the Old Town merchants, Albuquerque museums, Balloon Fiesta volunteers, Downtown Action Team ambassadors, Albuquerque area hotel housekeepers, the Big I construction team and the Albuquerque International Sunport baggage handlers.