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Media Release

Published: 08/13/2015
Brenna Moore ACVB (505) 222-4349

ACVB Fiscal Year-End Report Results in Best Convention Center Bookings in the Past Eight Years

In addition to a 7 percent increase in Lodgers’ Tax, ACVB reports future meetings bookings at Albuquerque Convention Center to bring over $27 million to the city
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (July 29, 2015) - The Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau (ACVB) is proud to announce the highlights of its most recent fiscal year. From July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015, ACVB's efforts in stimulating Albuquerque's economy through marketing the city as a visitor and convention destination resulted in some of the highest bookings ACVB has experienced in years.

"Tourism and conventions are critical to our economy. That's why we are pleased to report we've just completed a very strong year with the highest convention center meetings bookings in the past eight years and the most citywide meetings and conventions booked into the center in seven years," said Dale Lockett, President/CEO of the Albuquerque Convention and Visitors Bureau.

ACVB's sales staff facilitated over 223,000 room nights booked into the city for future years, including the highest overall convention center meetings and convention room nights booked in eight years. These total bookings account for an estimated $103 million in direct spending for the city of Albuquerque.

The Albuquerque Convention Center recently completed a $23 million renovation, which has played a vital role in the increase of bookings. The renovated center reflects Albuquerque's unique culture, blends with the city's assets and helps meeting planners view Albuquerque as a "must-see" convention destination. Over 44,000 future room nights were booked for the convention center for meetings and conventions during FY15, bringing an estimated $27 million in direct spending to Albuquerque, which also includes the most citywide meetings and conventions booked into the center in seven years. A few of these bookings include:

   • The Western Association of Veterans Education Specialists' 2016 WAVES Convention - 1,000       attendees
   • The Student & Youth Travel Association's 2017 Annual Conference - 1,000 attendees
   • The National Association of Orthopedic Nurses' 2018 Annual Congress - 1,100 attendees
   • The American String Teachers Association's 2019 National Conference - 1,800 attendees
   • The Society for American Archaeology's 2019 Annual Meeting - 2,000 attendees

"This year our team facilitated another strong year of bookings. In addition to the efforts of our hardworking and dedicated staff touting the benefits of the renovated convention center, these bookings were assisted by strong hosting incentives made possible by our partners, the City of Albuquerque, SMG, area hotels and venues and ACVB," remarked Rob Enriquez, ACVB VP of Convention Sales, Services and Sports.

"Our marketing and sales efforts have ensured that tourism and conventions are very bright spots for Albuquerque right now. Our industry indicators are positive and more people are employed in the hospitality industry than ever before," said Tania Armenta, COO/CMO of ACVB.

Lodgers Tax for FY15 is 7 percent ahead of last year and that is on the heels of a 6 percent increase last year, equating to a 13 percent increase in just the last two years. Occupancy, demand and the average daily rate for hotels are all seeing increases as well.

The fiscal year's highlights also include ACVB's award-winning Services Department, which, during FY15, helped host the highest number of attendees in 15 years. During FY15, Albuquerque played host to over 319,000 attendees associated with ACVB meetings. These meetings generated over $85 million in direct spending this year alone.

In addition to increased bookings, ACVB's media relations efforts resulted in more than 1,500 stories about Albuquerque this fiscal year, with articles appearing in Travel + Leisure, USA Today, Condé Nast Traveler, The Huffington Post, Fox News, and Good Housekeeping, among several other publications. ACVB's website also saw an increase of 26 percent in user sessions. And ABQ365, ACVB's platform geared toward Albuquerque residents, hosted more than 3,500 local event listings occurring during the fiscal year and posted nearly 160 blog posts authored by Albuquerque locals.

ACVB's efforts in social media resulted in growing the fan base to over 109,000 followers on @VisitABQ and @ABQ365 Facebook pages as well as over 23,000 Twitter followers. The #PictureABQ hashtag campaign, which launched in October of 2014 and aimed to promote user-generated Albuquerque images, significantly contributed to follower increases on @VisitABQ's social media channels, averaging 231 new followers on Twitter and 17 new followers on Instagram on a weekly basis throughout FY15. The #PictureABQ campaign also resulted in over 10,600 user sessions and nearly 47,000 unique page views.

In a recent traveler perception study conducted by Research & Polling, it was identified that Albuquerque's target markets of prudent boomers and intrepid travelers' impression of Albuquerque as a place to visit were 94 percent and 98 percent favorable, respectively, after viewing ACVB's advertising. ACVB's advertising efforts resulted in nearly 63.4 million impressions for leisure audiences, and almost 28.4 million impressions for meeting and convention audiences.

Travel and tourism in Albuquerque:
   • Brings approximately 6.2 million visitors to Albuquerque each year
   • Generates more than $2 billion annually
   • Produces over $69 million in local taxes annually
   • Supports approximately 40,000 jobs in Leisure and Hospitality

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