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The first few weeks of 2021 have flown by, and we’re eager to move into the new year with continued optimism and resolve for our recovery. Looking back at this past year, it is sobering to see the realities our industry continues to face amidst the ongoing pandemic. It is simultaneously inspiring to see the power of community and astounding resilience.
With the new year comes new hope, new determination and our commitment to capitalize on opportunity as it is presented. This issue of Industry Insider explores updates to the rollout of our Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide, details on the fun, locally focused #TrueABQ Challenge and information about the new PPP loan program.
We look forward to working with you in 2021!
President & CEO
After extensive consideration and in the best interest of our Partners and future visitors, Visit Albuquerque has decided to postpone the publication date of the next edition of its Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide until September 2021. The current edition of the Visitors Guide will continue to be distributed until the new guide is released. After the new guide is printed in September, it will be distributed throughout the fall and winter of 2021 and the spring and summer of 2022. We had originally planned to release an updated Visitors Guide in March. Due to uncertainty about reopening timelines, however, we are delaying publication of the guide in order to ensure that it contains accurate and useful information for visitors.
The Official Albuquerque Visitors Guide celebrates everything that makes Albuquerque special – our diverse culture, scenic beauty, outdoor recreation, authentic cuisine and unique attractions and events. We are excited to tell Albuquerque’s story in the next edition of the Visitors Guide.
For our Partners, the later release date means that you have more time to plan your advertising content to reach the guide’s 150,000 readers. We know that travelers are anxious to experience Albuquerque, and we expect to see increased visitation beginning in 2021 and strengthening in 2022. Your business will want to attract these visitors. The new deadline for advertising space reservations is June 1, 2021. Contact Mary Brown at 505-222-4310 or firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss advertising opportunities.
Partners also have additional time to ensure that their free business listing is up to date. A listing in the Visitors Guide is free to Partners in most business categories. Please contact Janice Pomeroy at email@example.com by May 1 with any changes to your complimentary listing.
On Jan. 5, the organization officially launched the #TrueABQ Challenge — a campaign designed to inspire and encourage residents to rediscover Albuquerque while simultaneously supporting the city’s small business community. The challenge will run through Sunday, Feb. 28, and the winner will be announced on Monday, March 8. Participants who complete the #TrueABQ Challenge will be entered into a random drawing for a free hot air balloon ride for two, courtesy of Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Balloon Co. Learn more here.
Earlier this month, the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) announced its phased plan for vaccine distribution. Individuals will be able to preschedule vaccinations as NMDOH receives more information about the number and timing of additional vaccine shipments. Those who would like to register to be notified when they are able to schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine may do so at https://cvvaccine.nmhealth.org.
Under recent changes to the Paycheck Protection Program, eligibility was expanded to additional types of businesses, eligible borrowers who received a first-draw PPP loan will be able to apply for a second loan, and loan funds may be used for additional types of expenses. For most first- and second-time PPP applicants, the loan amount is based on 2.5 times average monthly payroll, up to a maximum set by SBA. However, for lodging and food services businesses, the loan amount is based on 3.5 times average monthly payroll, up to the SBA maximum. Participating lenders are accepting applications until March 31.
The New Mexico Tourism Department, U.S. Small Business Administration and New Mexico Small Business Development Center hosted a webinar on Jan. 14 titled “Understanding and Accessing COVID-19 Relief for the New Mexico Tourism Industry.” The webinar provided an overview of recent changes to the Paycheck Protection Program. The webinar was designed specifically for businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry. Watch the recording here. To learn more and apply, click here.
In addition to the Paycheck Protection Program , the SBA is also making Shuttered Venue Operators grants (also known as Live Venue grants) 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 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, and recipients of a Shuttered Venue Operators grant will not be eligible to receive a PPP loan.
On Wednesday, Jan. 27, the New Mexico Tourism Department and New Mexico Small Business Development Center will host a tourism-specific webinar on how to apply for the Shuttered Venue Operators grant. The webinar is designed for event planners, theatrical producers, venue managers, live performing arts organizations, movie houses and cultural institutions. The webinar will be from 9 to 10 a.m. Register for the webinar here.
Members of the Visit Albuquerque team attended the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) Convening Leaders conference virtually this year from Jan. 11-15. Convening Leaders is one of the meetings industry’s premier annual conferences. The 2021 conference had a special focus on preparing for the recovery of the business events industry.
Visit Albuquerque’s media relations team is in constant contact with journalists, influencers and media outlets that focus on travel, cuisine, entertainment and events. Recently, we have received an uptick in inquiries from writers who are interested in specials and deals for Valentine's Day. These opportunities are a way for you to position yourselves as experts within the industry and keep your businesses on a national radar. Below please find a few examples of what writers are looking for:
If your business or organization has new initiatives and/or announcements for 2021 (new products or services, openings, anniversaries, etc.), please fill out this form at your earliest convenience. We will be using these details to pitch stories to national travel media.
Congratulations to the ABQ BioPark for ranking No. 10 for 2020 Best Botanical Garden Holiday Lights and Electric Playhouse for ranking No. 7 for 2020 Best New Attraction in USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards.
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.
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 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 also is posted 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.
We’re looking for images of COVID-safe practices in Albuquerque. Help us promote your business and Albuquerque in this new era by uploading your images of employees and customers wearing masks, socially distancing and participating in other COVID-safe practices. We might use your photo on social media, on our website or in other marketing materials to promote our city and our Partners. It’s easy to share your image; just click this link and drag and drop your images in our public uploader.
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.