Video Recapping FY23 Performance Metrics: https://youtu.be/XE-WZGqMpu4
Brenna Moore/Visit Albuquerque
Office: (505) 222-4349
Visit Albuquerque Recaps Performance, Highlights Upcoming Initiatives at 2023 Annual Meeting
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – (Sept. 29, 2023) – Lodgers’ tax revenue, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR) – key performance indicators for Albuquerque’s tourism and hospitality industry – achieved record annual highs over the past fiscal year (July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023), according to Visit Albuquerque and data provided by STR.
During its Annual Meeting held Wednesday at the Albuquerque Convention Center, Visit Albuquerque President & CEO Tania Armenta and Board of Directors Chair Deepesh Kholwadwala welcomed nearly 500 industry leaders, organization partners and community members to hear remarks from Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller and Visit Albuquerque leadership.
“As one of the city’s largest private industries, tourism and hospitality is a significant contributor to Albuquerque’s economy,” said Armenta. “The city sees approximately 6.7 million overnight visitors in a typical year, who contribute more than $2 billion to our city and support more than 45,000 jobs.”
“Our city continues to have great promise and potential for business development and tourism,” said Mayor Keller. “Albuquerque has seminal projects on the horizon that will define our city for the next decade.”
Travel was one of the industries most affected by the pandemic. Visit Albuquerque highlighted the continued rebound of the local industry over the past fiscal year, which was led by strong demand for leisure travel and sports events. Key performance indicators showcase the continued recovery of the industry in Albuquerque:
- Hotel occupancy rates performed above national averages in the late summer and early fall of 2022 and throughout the late spring and early summer of 2023.
- Albuquerque’s 64.9% average occupancy in FY23 slightly exceeded our 10-city comp set, which experienced a 64.7% average rate during the same time period. The city’s average annual occupancy rate also beat the national average, which was 63.3%. Albuquerque exceeded or tied the national average nine months out of 12 and outperformed the comp set eight months of 12.
- The strong demand, along with the impact of inflation, led to record average daily rates at local accommodations and record lodgers’ tax collections.
- Lodgers’ tax revenue grew by nearly 11% in FY23, resulting in $18.09 million in collections by the city compared to $16.3 million in FY22.
- Average daily rates (ADR) reached $111.77, a 9.1% increase from the previous year.
- Revenue per available room (RevPAR) grew by 7.9% in FY23, reaching an average of $73.07 for the fiscal year.
The city successfully hosted several national sporting events booked and supported by Visit Albuquerque that drew top athletes to the city, along with accompanying media attention. The final day of the 2023 USATF Indoor Track & Field Championships was broadcast live on NBC, and the 2022 New Mexico Bowl aired on ABC during a slot in prime time.
While slower to recover than leisure and sports travel, Albuquerque achieved notable growth for meetings and conventions in fiscal year 2023.
- The Albuquerque area hosted 242 meetings and sports events booked by Visit Albuquerque, a 20% increase over the previous year. Of the total, 43 were citywide meetings and 199 were non-citywide meetings.
- These meetings and events brought an estimated total of 231,266 visitors to our city – a 57.8% increase over the 146,593 who traveled here in FY22 for meetings and sports events booked by Visit Albuquerque. While in town, those travelers spent money on meals, shopping, attractions and an estimated 150,625 room nights at local lodging properties. Estimated direct spend from the meetings and events in FY23 was more than $72.7 million.
- Albuquerque had the privilege of welcoming several high-profile groups to the city this calendar year, including the U.S. Department of Defense 2023 DAF Modeling and Simulation Conference, the international SolarPACES Conference, the Al-Anon Family Groups 2023 International Convention, and the American Society of Animal Science 2023 Annual Meeting.
FY23 was the first full year of operation for the Albuquerque Tourism Marketing District (ATMD), a new initiative supported by the local lodging community to help expand marketing of the city as a destination. With the new funding source, Visit Albuquerque was able to expand its advertising efforts into new markets, reach new audiences, and advertise year-round rather than seasonally. With the combined resources from lodgers’ tax and ATMD assessments, Visit Albuquerque’s FY23 advertising efforts generated more than 1 billion impressions for the first time in history.
During the Annual Meeting, Visit Albuquerque leadership previewed upcoming initiatives and future opportunities for the industry, including:
- The initiation of a year-long project to develop a Destination Master Plan (DMP) for the city in partnership with the global tourism and destination advisory division of JLL – a global real estate services company. The process will engage industry, business and City leaders and will include visitor perception and resident sentiment studies, resulting in a 10-year roadmap that strengthens Albuquerque as a thriving destination for leisure travelers, meetings and events while balancing the needs of residents, businesses and visitors.
- Promotions surrounding the 51st Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, including a 72-page printed City Guide containing neighborhood information, coupons and a calendar of events that will be distributed to 30,000 visitors. In addition, Visit Albuquerque will staff a Visitor Information Booth and offer free souvenir photos inside a life-size frame, both located midfield at Balloon Fiesta Park.
- Highlighted bookings of conventions, meetings and sporting events – with assistance from area hotels and venues along with other key organizations – taking place in the next 12 months.
- A few of these bookings include the American Orff-Schulwerk Association 2023 Annual Conference taking place in November and estimated to bring 1,000 attendees; the 2024 Sun Country Region Volleyball Association ABQ Bid-Qualifier happening in March 2024 and estimated to bring over 7,500 attendees; the Society of Architectural Historians 77th Annual International Conference taking place in April 2024 and estimated to bring 400 attendees; and the 2024 USA Taekwondo West Grand Prix happening in May 2024 and estimated to bring over 4,200 attendees.
During the Annual Meeting, Visit Albuquerque welcomed incoming Board of Directors Chair Michael Canfield, President & CEO of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and Indian Pueblos Marketing. Canfield takes over the position from Deepesh Kholwadwala, owner and President/CEO of Sun Capital Hotels.
“The work…done with the Albuquerque Tourism Market District has been a game changer, exponentially increasing our ability to tell the world about our beautiful community,” said Canfield. “We need to maximize that momentum by expanding advertising efforts, reaching further than we ever thought possible.”
“One of the areas I believe we need to increase our focus on is helping all of us to be the best ambassadors we can be,” said Canfield. “Sometimes we’re not very good at sharing the great things we have to offer or demonstrating the hospitality we should. This year we will work to increase our role in this area. It’s really all about giving the highest level of hospitality to our visitors.”
Visit Albuquerque’s business partners in attendance also elected a slate of nominees to fill four open positions on the board of directors. William R. Stafford, owner of Sadie’s of New Mexico, Deepesh Kholwadwala, owner and President/CEO of Sun Capital Hotels, and Christine Pauley, Director of Meetings & Conferences at American Society of Radiologic Technologists, were elected to positions in the Hospitality/Non-Accommodations, Hospitality/Accommodations, and General Business categories, respectively, and all are incumbents returning for a second term. Damian Kirson, General Manager of Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Co., was elected to a position in the Hospitality/Non-Accommodations category.
Visit Albuquerque’s board of directors for the coming fiscal year is as follows:
- Michael Canfield
- President & CEO of the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center and Indian Pueblos Marketing
- Ben Abruzzo, Chair-Elect
- President, Sandia Peak Tramway
- Deepesh Kholwadwala, Immediate Past Chair
- Owner & President/CEO, Sun Capital Hotels
- Scott Cape, Secretary/Treasurer
- General Manager, Embassy Suites by Hilton
- Christine Pauley, Member-at-Large
- Director of Meetings & Conferences, American Society of Radiologic Technologists
- Sanjay Bhakta
- CFO, City of Albuquerque
- Mayoral Representative (non-voting)
- City Councilor Renee Grout
- Albuquerque City Council Representative (non-voting)
- Tania Armenta
- President & CEO, Visit Albuquerque (non-voting)
- Tom Garrity
- President, The Garrity Group Public Relations
- Steve Grant
- Owner, Downtown Historic Corporate Housing
- Cainan Harris
- VP of Operations, Heritage Hotels & Resorts
- Karl Holme
- Greater Albuquerque Hotel & Lodging Association Representative
- Damian Kirson
- General Manager of Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Co.
- Damen Kompanowski
- General Manager, Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown
- Raymond Roa
- General Manager, Albuquerque Convention Center
- ACC Representative
- City Councilor Isaac Benton
- Albuquerque City Council Representative
- William R. Stafford
- Owner, Sadie’s of New Mexico
The meeting concluded with thoughts of gratitude and optimism, noting that Visit Albuquerque’s work would not be possible without the support of partners, the community and the industry as a whole.
About Visit Albuquerque
Visit Albuquerque is an accredited destination marketing organization (DMO), and a private, not-for-profit organization [501(c)(6)]. The mission of Visit Albuquerque is to stimulate economic growth by marketing Albuquerque as a convention, sports and visitor destination. For more information, go to www.VisitABQ.org.