As we head into the warmer seasons, we are eager to welcome more visitors to our city in a safe and thoughtful manner, and we are doing everything we can to shine a positive spotlight on Albuquerque as a COVID-safe destination.
This issue of Industry Insider includes updates on the $1.5 million tourism recovery allocation from the City, the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant, our work in the meeting and conventions sector of the industry, and exciting nominations the city and its businesses have received within Condé Nast Traveler's 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards and Travel + Leisure’s 2021 World’s Best Awards.
In the coming weeks, we hope you have plans to attend the variety of signature events taking place in the city and virtually, from the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow and American Indian Week to Isotopes and New Mexico United games and the return of farmers’ and art markets throughout the city.
Thank you for being a Visit Albuquerque Partner.
President & CEO
On March 23, Mayor Tim Keller attended a virtual meeting of Visit Albuquerque’s Board of Directors, where he announced a $1.5 million allocation to kick-start the post-COVID recovery of Albuquerque’s tourism industry. The funds will be used for marketing and advertising, putting Albuquerque on the map for the millions of Americans eager to vacation again as the nation’s pandemic restrictions become more conducive to travel. This new push for Albuquerque tourism also supports the ABQ Home for Life campaign, which targets remote workers, who can do their jobs from anywhere.
Visit Albuquerque is working closely with the City, the Albuquerque Sunport and the Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board to ensure effective implementation of marketing efforts. Messaging will position Albuquerque as a top destination for travelers seeking outdoor recreation, cultural experiences, and family-friendly events and attractions. Messages will be delivered via highly targeted digital advertising, high-impact print advertising, enticing social media content, strong media and public relations and targeted email messages.
Earlier this month, the New Mexico Tourism Department (NMTD) unveiled a refresh of the New Mexico True brand in an effort to revitalize tourism for the state. The brand refresh includes a modernized “New Mexico True” logo and a new tagline “The Land of Enchantment,” replacing “Adventure that Feeds the Soul.” The goal of this refresh is to emphasize video storytelling, new direction and voice in the advertising creative and flexibility of usage across different channels. NMTD has begun transitioning to use of the new logo. Read the official press release here.
NMTD is also preparing to open its FY22 Cooperative Marketing and Advertising Program. Through the program, the department partners with eligible entities (tourism-related non-profit organizations, local and tribal governments, e.g. counties and municipalities) that believe in NMTD’s mission, philosophies and strive to improve the quality of life in their communities. The deadline to take the Partner Priorities and Situation Assessment is Friday, April 23. To learn more about participating in the program click here.
Following technical difficulties that delayed its launch, the U.S. Small Business Administration is expected to open the application portal for the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program later this month. The program makes $16.25 billion in grants available to shuttered venues, to be administered by the SBA’s Office of Disaster Assistance. It is available to concert venues, performing arts centers and theaters, as well as zoos, aquariums and museums that meet certain criteria. The venue must have experienced a decline in revenue of at least 25% between April 1, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. SBA is administering these grants directly, and businesses will apply online on the SBA website. The grant amount is based on 45% of the employer’s gross revenue in 2019, up to $10 million. Businesses that received a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan are now also eligible for the SVOG. Click here to register for an application portal account and to receive the most up-to-date information regarding the exact reopening date for the portal.
Albuquerque’s hotel market occupancy* rate for the week of April 4-10, 2021, was 61.7% per STR. This represents a significant improvement from the same week one year ago when weekly hotel market occupancy fell to just 22.5%, and even two months ago, when occupancy remained under 50%. As reference points, the national hotel occupancy* rate for this week was 59.7%, and the Albuquerque occupancy* rate for the same week in 2019 was 73.3%.
However, not all Albuquerque properties are experiencing this level of occupancy performance. When we segment the data by limited-service and full-service property types (see chart A to the right), it is clear that limited service properties are experiencing higher occupancies despite fewer temporary closures. The slower return of business transient and group meeting travel, as reflected in the variation between weekday** occupancy among limited (64.8%) and full (41.4%) service property types, plays a meaningful role in the disparity. Without significant growth in those areas of demand, some full-service properties may remain temporarily closed.
*STR occupancy figures are calculated based on available, or open, rooms. Temporarily closed rooms are therefore not factored into the calculation and the volume of temporary closures has varied throughout the pandemic.
**Sunday through Thursday
From April 21-23, Senior National Sales Manager Clarissa Baca will represent Visit Albuquerque at the Independent Planner Education Conference (IPEC) in Louisville, Ky. IPEC is an exclusive event tailored to the unique needs of independent planners who are not associated with any third-party organizations such as HelmsBriscoe or Conference Direct. In addition to networking opportunities, Clarissa will participate in face-to-face sales appointments over the course of the three-day event.
Visit Albuquerque was excited to welcome members of the travel media back to the city earlier this month for the first time in more than a year. We have noticed an increase in interest from travel writers in the past 30 days, a positive sign that demand for travel is also picking up, and we look forward to working with our Partners to highlight all there is to safely see and do in the city. With our Partners’ help, we are able to generate quality media coverage about Albuquerque. We recently received notable coverage from Big Blend Radio and great Instagram coverage from well-known influencer @atasteofkoko, and we will host additional travel writers for in-city visits next month.
The Visit Albuquerque sales team continues to find creative ways to introduce clients to Albuquerque within the current public health order constraints. Senior National Sales Manager Misty Jester recently conducted a virtual site visit of the Albuquerque Convention Center, Hyatt Regency Hotel and DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel with four members of the International Erosion Control Association (IECA) and their third party representative. IECA is considering Albuquerque and one other city for their February 2024 annual convention. This was IECA’s first virtual site experience, and it proved to be very successful.
Travel + Leisure 2021 World’s Best Awards
By sharing what you love about Albuquerque as part of the Travel + Leisure 2021 World’s Best Awards, you will be entered into a giveaway for a chance to win a dream trip for two worth $10,000! It’s simple to participate in the survey and enter the contest:
Condé Nast Traveler's 2021 "Readers’ Choice'' Awards
Albuquerque and several of our Partners have been nominated for Condé Nast Traveler's 2021 "Readers’ Choice'' Awards! Voting is now live and you will have to create a login in order to vote, but every time you submit a completed rating for these awards, you’ll be entered to win a dream getaway for two. Albuquerque has been nominated under the “Cities” category. Additionally, the following properties have been nominated under the “Hotels & Resorts” and “Restaurants” categories. Be sure to vote by Monday, May 31, for your chance to win. Click here to vote now.
Congratulations to #ABQTours History & Ghost Tours of Old Town for celebrating 20 years of its Old Town ghost tour. Since the first tour in 2001, #ABQTours has welcomed over a quarter million guests.
SteelBender Brewyard recently released its new Sine On Saison to benefit the Agora Crisis Center. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the center, which provides support and resources to those living with mental illness.
Meow Wolf’s House of Eternal Return in Santa Fe was nominated for USA Today’s 10 Best for the Immersive Experience category. Voting is open and closes at the end of April. Vote here.
More than 100 Visit Albuquerque Partners have earned certification through the NM Safe Certified program, which verifies that their management team has been trained in COVID-Safe Practices. Check out all the businesses statewide that have earned the certification so far at nmsafecertified.org, and click here to start earning your certification today.
Calling local brewery, entertainment and restaurant businesses to participate in a digital passport program developed to help local businesses with no cost to participate. The Unbelievable Pass will be the premier deals pass for Albuquerque and the perfect cure for cabin fever.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Visit Albuquerque’s Partners help support our mission to market the city as a top-choice destination for leisure travel, meetings and sporting events. Our thanks to the following Partners that joined in March or that recently renewed their partnership with Visit Albuquerque. We appreciate your commitment to making Albuquerque a great place to live and to visit!
The Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide is designed to inspire people who are planning to visit our beautiful city as well as those who have already made the trip and are looking for ideas about where to eat, shop and spend their time while they are here. The new edition of the guide, which will be distributed in September 2021, will focus on what travelers desire now: outdoor recreation, a city-wide commitment to welcoming guests safely and responsibly, and the opportunity to visit an exciting destination that offers distinctive art, culture, cuisine and history.
The guides are distributed through mail to those who request a copy, as well as to leisure and business travelers, meeting planners, members of the media and event attendees. It will also be available at Visitor Information Centers throughout the state and in Amarillo, Texas, as well as the Albuquerque Sunport, museums, restaurants, lodging establishments and citywide attractions. An interactive, digital version of the guide will also be available on the Visit Albuquerque website.
Being included in the Visitors Guide increases your exposure to the millions of visitors who travel to Albuquerque annually. Make sure visitors to our city know about your business! If you are interested in advertising in this publication, contact Mary Brown, 505-222-4310 or email@example.com.
A recent survey conducted by Destination Analysts confirmed that:
One of your key benefits as a Partner of Visit Albuquerque is your business listing on our website. Travelers and residents alike count on our website for information about where to eat, shop, play and stay in Albuquerque.
As businesses begin to reopen, many of you are making changes to your business hours, operations, products, services and amenities. Make sure your customers, clients and guests know about these changes by updating your business listing on VisitABQ.org. It only takes three easy steps!
Use the link below to submit your updates.
If you have any questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A new filter allows TripAdvisor users to sort lodging properties in order to view only those that are taking additional safety precautions related to COVID-19. This means it is important for your property to update its TripAdvisor listing as soon as possible. Access the safety checklist in your TripAdvisor Management Center and select which safety measures you have in place, such as mandatory face masks, additional sanitation procedures and social distancing policies. You also can submit a text description of the steps you are taking to protect customers.
Visit Albuquerque’s ABQ365 Events Calendar offers a great opportunity to promote your virtual and COVID-safe events! The one-stop, all-ABQ encompassing calendar features primarily arts, entertainment and culture-focused events, appealing to both locals and visitors.
Virtual event listings offer a great opportunity for additional exposure and promotion, and can help keep your business top-of-mind – for free!
Click here to get started, and be sure to select the virtual events tag on the submission form.
Coupons can be a great way to drive traffic to your business. If you have a current coupon or special running, please submit it to us so we can list it on our Specials & Coupons page.
Click here to submit your current coupons and specials.
We know things are different right now. We want to help you share your new initiatives. If you are offering a new type of service or concept, a new product, or have anything else exciting or new going on, we want to hear about it! Send anything and everything to Media@VisitABQ.org.