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We hope this spring season is bringing you success. With summer fast approaching, we look forward to welcoming even more visitors to our city and seeing the positive impact of an increase in tourism.
This issue of Industry Insider includes a recap of our Global Meetings Industry Day celebrations, an announcement about a new state program designed to enhance the digital presence of independent hotels, and updates on trade shows our staff have recently attended to spread Visit Albuquerque’s message.
Thank you for being a Visit Albuquerque Partner.
President & CEO
Visit Albuquerque and some of our hotel and meeting partners celebrated Global Meetings Industry Day on April 7. The day was an opportunity to highlight the impact that conventions and meetings have on Albuquerque. Twenty-one meetings and events brought in more than $7 million in direct spending to the city in February 2022 alone. Nationally, professional meetings and events made up 42% of all business travel spending. Although the industry is still recovering from the pandemic, the number of meetings were up 108% in 2021 from their 2020 low, and 2022 is expected to be even stronger. Watch our GMID video here or read about the power of meetings.
Partnering with other destinations throughout New Mexico, Visit Albuquerque attended the Travel & Adventure Show in Los Angeles and Dallas, and will attend the Denver show at the end of the month. The consumer-facing trade shows offer attendees the opportunity to discover hundreds of destinations from around the globe, and our presence there ensures that Albuquerque is on travelers’ lists of must-see places. Visit ABQ’s representatives at each show are introducing our city to tens of thousands of motivated travelers.
Visit Albuquerque’s former Vice President of Sales, Services & Sports Kristin McGrath and Associate Director of Sales Larry Atchison attended the Destination Showcase Washington D.C. Tradeshow in National Harbor, Md., on March 25. The event provided opportunities to connect with other destination organizations and to introduce meeting planners to Albuquerque. In mid-April, Kristin left her position at Visit Albuquerque to become the executive director of the Pasadena Convention & Visitors Bureau. Kristin is a respected leader in the industry, and we wish her all the best in her new position. She built a strong sales team during her five-year tenure with Visit Albuquerque, and the team will continue to represent Albuquerque well while we conduct a national search for a new Vice President of Sales, Services & Sports.
Kristin McGrath and Larry Atchison are joined by Don Welsh, President & CEO of Destinations International and Sherrif Karamat, CEO of the Professional Convention Management Association.
A federal judge in Florida overturned a federal mask mandate for planes, trains and other transportation. The ruling prompted many airlines to issue new guidance, allowing passengers to choose whether or not to continue wearing a face covering. Amtrak also said face coverings will be optional aboard trains. The Albuquerque Sunport says masks are optional for passengers, employees and visitors. The CDC’s mask mandate was first put into place in February 2021, and was most recently extended until May 3.
Nearly 90% of travelers will research a hotel online prior to booking a room, but many independent hotels, motels and B&Bs do not have robust digital marketing strategies. In response, the New Mexico Tourism Department is providing independent properties with free training to improve their digital performance in order to promote business and increase occupancy. Participants in the department’s Digital Optimization Program will learn how to improve their marketing efforts and revenue management. NMTD is providing technical support, including one-on-one coaching, self-paced trainings and live webinars. To learn more about the complimentary program and to sign up to participate, visit the NMTD’s website.
The New Mexico Tourism Department has launched a Tourism Event Growth & Sustainability Program to help support the state’s tourism events. Eligible New Mexico-based events could qualify for up to $50,000 in state sponsorships, up to $5,000 in technical assistance to improve online ticketing and social media efforts, and up to $10,000 in funding to support marketing and advertising. Event organizers must show that their events align with the New Mexico True brand and drive out-of-state travel or drive in-state travel that results in overnight stays. Applications are due May 27. To learn more about the program, visit NMTD’s website.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham appointed Gallup community leader Bill Lee to the New Mexico Tourism Commission. Lee is the President and CEO of The Gallup McKinley County Chamber of Commerce and owner of X-Treme-Lee Fun Balloon Adventures. Lee’s appointment fills the seven-person commission.
The Hyatt Regency Albuquerque has been rebranded as The Clyde Hotel under the hotel group Heritage Hotels & Resorts. The name pays homage to Clyde Tingley, the 11th governor of New Mexico and a driving force in Albuquerque’s growth in the 1920s and 1930s. A two-year renovation is underway to refurbish the hotel’s lobby and ground floor spaces with Pueblo Deco themes. The 382-room hotel will remain open during that time.
Photo Credit: Samuel Usle
Fares for the New Mexico Rail Runner Express are reduced 75% from now until at least July 31 to encourage ridership during a time of higher gas prices. The state and train operators partnered to cover the fare reduction. According to Terry Doyle, the director of the Rio Metro Regional Transit District, daily Rail Runner ridership is at about 60% of pre-pandemic ridership levels. He hopes the reduced prices will attract new local commuters as well as provide visitors with a convenient way to travel between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.
The City of Albuquerque Parks & Recreation Department conducted a study on building a trail that would connect the Sawmill/Museum District with downtown Albuquerque. The Spur Line Trail would follow existing railroad tracks, running about 2.25 miles. The Spur Line Trail would be part of an 8-mile loop connecting major attractions, including the Rail Yards, the ABQ BioPark and the Albuquerque Convention Center. Go to the Parks and Recreation Department’s website to read the full study.
The Albuquerque International Sunport is now the official travel partner of New Mexico United. There is a special United display at the Sunport featuring United video, messages, projections and more for travelers to enjoy. The Sunport will also support New Mexico United with ticket giveaways and social media collaborations. The partnership will run through at least the end of the year.
Vote for Visit Albuquerque Partner Routes Bicycling Tours & Rentals, which is nominated for the best cycling tour in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice awards. You can vote every day until May 9 on 10best.com. We also encourage you to promote the survey link on social media or anywhere else you see fit!
Photo Credit: Ryan Flanagan
Vote for Visit Albuquerque partners Hotel Chaco and TEN 3, which were nominated for TravelAwaits’ 2022 Best of Travel Awards. Hotel Chaco is up for favorite luxury hotel while TEN 3 was nominated for restaurant with the best view. Albuquerque made the final list of nominees for the most pet-friendly U.S. city. You can vote once a day until May 1 on TravelAwaits' website. Bow & Arrow Brewing Co. was also nominated for favorite craft brewery. Please share the voting link to encourage others to vote!
Retail sales of recreational cannabis became legal in New Mexico on April 1, making the state the 18th in the country to legalize sales. The state reported $5.2 million in sales of recreational and medical marijuana the first weekend. In Albuquerque, City Councilors approved the creation of indoor cannabis smoking lounges. Possession of up to 2 ounces of marijuana for recreational use has been legal in New Mexico since June 29, 2021, for those 21 and older. Visit Albuquerque does not plan to highlight the legal sale of recreational marijuana in its tourism marketing campaigns.
Visit Albuquerque’s ACE training program is designed to brush up your employees’ customer service skills and strengthen their knowledge about the city. Graduates of the program can answer guests’ questions about things to do and places to visit. The program also provides training on topics such as first impressions, effective communication and handling conflict.
Don’t miss your chance to attend one of these upcoming classes:
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
2401 12th Street NW, Albuquerque
Friday, June 24, 2022
The Albuquerque Museum
2000 Mountain Road NW, Albuquerque
Each class begins promptly at 9 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. The cost is $25 per person for Partner businesses and $40 per person for non-Partners.
A continental breakfast will be provided along with water and coffee. To register, call Trish Hathoot at 505-908-8178 or send an email to TKHTrainingABQ@gmail.com.
Graduates will be recognized as Albuquerque Community Experience professionals and will receive a complimentary Community Experience pass that allows each of them and one guest to visit attractions throughout the Albuquerque area. The value of each ACE pass is more than $500!
Seating for upcoming classes is limited, so register your employees now!
Facebook is one of the most popular social media platforms, and it’s an important tool to help promote your business. Hootsuite compiled a list of Facebook demographics to help better inform your social media strategy so you can get the most bang for your buck using the platform.
Tourists and locals alike often turn to Google to find out more about businesses across Albuquerque. It’s important to make sure information about your business is up-to-date. Travel Life Media has some tips for making sure your Google business description is designed to attract more customers.
This year will bring the 50th Balloon Fiesta, and we are eager to start promotions for this landmark event right away. We want to include you in these Balloon Fiesta promotional efforts. If you are offering a Balloon Fiesta/Fall package, deal, special, tour, event or any other promotions, we want to know about it and share it! Packages and deals created around an event or a season are a great way to encourage visitors to your business. And Balloon Fiesta and the surrounding fall events create a great opportunity to do just that.
We encourage you to start thinking about 50th Balloon Fiesta offerings now. Get creative and think outside the box! Aside from coupons, some promotional ideas might include:
Submit a package or a coupon to have your offer promoted on our webpage, which is highly ranked on search engines and receives an average of 140,000 unique visitors per month.
If you have an offering or special that is not a coupon or deal, email us at Marketing@VisitABQ.org.
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 highly visited and shared Specials & Coupons page. We also promote these specials and coupons during special events, meetings and conventions being hosted in Albuquerque.
Click here to submit your current coupons and specials.
Visit Albuquerque’s ABQ365 Events Calendar offers a great opportunity to promote your events! The one-stop, all-ABQ encompassing calendar features primarily arts, entertainment and culture-focused events, appealing to both locals and visitors.
Event listings offer a great opportunity for additional exposure and promotion, and can help keep your business top-of-mind – for free!
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.
Albuquerque Business First recognized Monique Fragua, the COO of Commercial Enterprises at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, as one of its 40 under 40 New Mexicans. These awards are given to emerging young leaders who are making a difference. This year’s class will be recognized at an awards program May 19. To see the full 40 under 40 list, click here.
There will be a new place to sip a cocktail outside in Albuquerque. Hollow Spirits is building a two-story patio at its location in the Wells Park neighborhood. Construction is expected to be completed by May.
Partnering with Visit Albuquerque to provide the Official Map of Albuquerque since 2016
Put your business on the map!
Reserve your space now! Call 505-750-0076 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Calling local breweries, 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 email@example.com for more information.
Enjoy a barley-filled 11-day celebration May 26 through June 5. There is something for everyone: local craft beer tastings, exciting tours, incredible food events and some of the best local music. For more information, visit Abqbeerweek.com.
Don’t miss New Mexico’s favorite beer fest with fantastic blues and the tastiest brews. There will be dozens of breweries, ciders, seltzers and spirits, unlimited sampling, games, 4 stages and 6 great blues bands. For more information, visit Abqbluesandbrews.com.
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 recently joined or renewed their partnership with Visit Albuquerque. We appreciate your commitment to making Albuquerque a great place to live and to visit!