ALBUQUERQUE, NM – The Visit Albuquerque (Visit Albuquerque) is holding its annual luncheon May 4th to celebrate the tourism industry and all that it contributes to Albuquerque. The luncheon will take place from 11am-1:30pm (networking followed by a prompt 11:30am start) at the Albuquerque Convention Center.

Approximately 400 industry professionals will come together at the luncheon to recognize the importance of travel in our community, to review Visit Albuquerque accomplishments during the past year and to look ahead to the future of hospitality and tourism in Albuquerque. Mayor Richard J. Berry and City Council President Don Harris will also provide their insights on the topic.

Travel and tourism in Albuquerque:
• 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 approximately 25,000 people in Albuquerque
• Conventions/meetings generate more than $65 million in direct spending

Each spring the luncheon takes place in conjunction with National Travel & Tourism Week. Our local celebration includes the Unsung Heroes of Tourism program. The Albuquerque 311 Citizen Contact Center has been selected as the 2011 Unsung Heroes of Tourism and will be recognized during the luncheon. 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. 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, the industry will recognize the 17th annual class of local ambassadors, which is made up of 11 individuals who have helped recruit meetings to Albuquerque. These meetings and conventions will collectively bring in more than $8.5 million in direct spending to the city.