Brenna Moore/Visit Albuquerque
Office: (505) 222-4349
Organization unveils redesigned website and new 360-degree destination video; touts impressive industry statistics and announces a new VP of Marketing
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – (Dec. 14, 2017) – During its December 2017 Quarterly Meeting held at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque yesterday afternoon, Visit Albuquerque celebrated a strong year of marketing Albuquerque as a visitor, convention and sports destination, and looked toward the future with the city's largest gathering of tourism industry professionals and special guests, including newly-elected Mayor Tim Keller.
“Tourism is absolutely critical to the city and the state,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “I am very excited for the opportunity to work with the tourism industry and support the efforts of Visit ABQ.”
“The progress this industry has made within the past year, along with the private and public investments in the city, have led to some tremendous successes,” said Tania Armenta, President & CEO of Visit Albuquerque. “As we look to 2018, we have a solid foundation of business already booked, in addition to other positive improvements, that put us on track to build on the current momentum and success—all equating to a very strong outlook for the year ahead!”
Visit Albuquerque President & CEO Tania Armenta and Board of Directors Chair Cynthia Stanley presented on a variety of organizational updates and accomplishments, including the debut of the redesigned VisitAlbuquerque.org.
As the first complete redesign of the site since 2011, the new VisitAlbuquerque.org—launched yesterday—is reflective of the refreshed Visit Albuquerque brand and is a massive step forward for the modernization of the destination’s marketing tools. The site is responsive across desktop, tablet and mobile platforms and features a user-friendly setup, where one can easily find things to do, business information (the site also offers advertising opportunities for local businesses) and a comprehensive events calendar. Furthermore, the content changes dynamically based upon the user’s location, allowing for landing pages, content pages, and even the homepage to change based upon where the user is geographically located.
“As the top resource for those looking to visit Albuquerque, we wanted our website to reflect our current brand, as well as take on a modern look and feel and become more user-friendly,” said Tania Armenta, President & CEO of Visit Albuquerque. “We are extremely proud of this new launch, and know that the tools and content found within VisitAlbuquerque.org’s redesigned pages will continue to inspire visitation to Albuquerque for years to come.”
In addition to the new website, the organization debuted five new 360-degree video experiences, which highlight the multifaceted and one-of-a-kind nature of Albuquerque. The primary use for these videos will be for Visit Albuquerque’s Viewfinder—an interactive apparatus that showcases the city’s best assets in the form of immersive video—with plans to share on VisitAlbuquerque.org and across the organization’s social media channels. Visit ABQ has seen great success with the Albuquerque Viewfinder campaign that ranges from increased foot traffic at trade shows to significant video views, and even competing destinations sharing their envy and admiration for such an innovative and unique asset.
Armenta and Stanley also touted the overall success of the travel and tourism industry in Albuquerque, as well as its role as a vital economic engine for the city. As one of the largest private industries in the city, the tourism industry in Albuquerque:
- generates more than $2 billion annually
- employs over 40,000 people in Bernalillo County alone, and was one of the few industries that experienced job growth through the recession
- brings approximately 6.2 million visitors to the city each year, which generates about $69 million in local taxes
In addition to highlighting these statistics, Visit Albuquerque recapped the fact that the organization is closing out the strongest citywide convention year the city has experienced for the last seven years, and reported that 2018 is the second-strongest in terms of citywide conventions that the city has seen within the last 10 years, with the opportunity to book additional meetings and conventions in the coming year (link to PDFs containing citywide conventions and high-profile bookings for both 2017 and 2018 is included at the top of the release). The meeting highlighted industry advancement through increases in occupancy and average daily rate for hotels, as well as the steady increase in the city’s lodgers’ tax revenue, which saw a saw a 3.4% increase in FY17 over FY16. For FY18, lodgers’ tax is pacing up 2.2% for the fiscal year-to-date (through September).
In looking to the future, Visit Albuquerque touted the fact that the city was one of only nine U.S. destinations to be included in Travel + Leisure’s list of Best Places to Travel in 2018—a fantastic start to the year ahead.
Visit Albuquerque also announced the selection of a new Vice President for Visit Albuquerque’s Marketing, Communications & Tourism division—Emily Howard. Howard brings more than 20 years of agency experience and has honed her strategic planning skills at some of the state’s and country’s top marketing firms. She will begin at the organization on Dec. 27.
The meeting program included recognizing Visit Albuquerque volunteers—a base of over 90 individuals serving at the organization’s Visitor Information Centers, trade conferences and local events. Two long-standing volunteers were highlighted during the program: Marv Plugge for 17 years and Peggy Minich for 15 years of service.
Nearly 400 attendees listened to remarks from Mayor Tim Keller, City Council President Isaac Benton, and Visit Albuquerque leadership. The speakers noted the importance of tourism to the city's economy, as well as the positive momentum and many developments currently underway and on the horizon.
Armenta closed by saying that this is an exciting time for the industry and the organization, and Visit Albuquerque is looking forward to building on this positive momentum to create a bright and successful 2018.
About Visit Albuquerque
The mission of Visit Albuquerque is to stimulate economic growth by marketing Albuquerque as a visitor and convention destination. For more information, go to www.VisitABQ.org, www.Facebook.com/VisitABQ or www.Twitter.com/VisitABQ.