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We just wrapped up our fiscal year here at Visit Albuquerque, and we’re feeling energized as we head into the new year with lifted restrictions and eager travelers. We are excited to see continued upticks in meeting and convention leads, marketing efforts and travelers who visit our Visitor Information Centers in Old Town and at the Sunport. While there is still a lot of recovery work ahead of us, these are positive signs of resiliency and a comeback for our industry.
We recognize the serious situation that our industry finds itself in today as we work to manage customer expectations. In a recent Travel Sentiment Survey from Longwoods International and Miles Partnership, it was noted that 84% of Americans expect the same or better service from when they traveled before the pandemic. Managing these expectations while dealing with the staffing shortages and training new staff is no doubt a major challenge. You’ll find a new video offering tips for your newer employees along with details on the recently released “Be Kind” campaign in this issue of Industry Insider.
You’ll also find updates in this issue on the City’s new “ABQ66” campaign, our hosting of the USA Cycling 2021 Road Masters National Championships and premier baseball tournaments and exciting news about recent city rankings.
Thank you for being a Visit Albuquerque Partner.
President & CEO
Save the date for Visit Albuquerque’s Annual Meeting on Wednesday, September 15, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., with lunch served at 12 noon.
Join the Annual Meeting for the latest updates and news, including:
Watch for a registration link soon. In the meantime, save the date on your calendars!
In June, the City of Albuquerque Economic Development Department launched a comprehensive marketing campaign to revitalize Albuquerque’s historic Route 66 by boosting consumer activity and sales revenue along the corridor. Called “ABQ 66: Explore the Real Original,” the program is part of the City’s post-pandemic economic recovery plan to support local businesses and boost outside economic investment by championing what makes Albuquerque unique.
The campaign will promote the 14-mile stretch of Central Avenue between 118th and Tramway and includes new branding, special events, light pole banners, a website, videos, and digital and traditional media placements. The website, ExploreABQ66.com, provides information on nine Route 66 neighborhoods in Albuquerque and contains links to Visit Albuquerque’s website, VisitABQ.org, so that people can plan their visits to each neighborhood. The Route 66 Visitor Center under construction at the corridor’s western end will add to the vibrancy of the area with a taproom, a drive-in movie area, a neon sign graveyard, and a heavily-anticipated lowrider museum. Read more here.
Albuquerque will host the USA Cycling 2021 Road Masters National Championships August 5-8. The event will draw 800 athletes to the city and includes a criterium and athlete expo on August 8 at Balloon Fiesta Park. Spectators are welcome at the event and volunteer opportunities are also available. The Albuquerque Sports Commission, a division of Visit Albuquerque, is working with the City to coordinate and promote the event to travelers and locals. Promotions include various marketing and advertising efforts such as outdoor and radio advertising, social media advertising, email marketing, volunteer outreach and more. Learn more here.
In June, the New Mexico Hospitality Association (NMHA) launched a ‘Career Board’ specifically for those seeking jobs in the hospitality industry such as lodging, drink and food services, event planning and tourism. Members of NMHA can post their jobs on the Career Board for free. Those who aren’t members can post their jobs for free on the site from July through the end of August. Visit newmexicohospitality.org for more information on submitting a job posting.
Albuquerque has been named one of America’s 100 Best Cities for 2021 by Resonance Consultancy, a global advisory firm focusing on real estate, tourism and economic development. Albuquerque was ranked No. 34 on the list of the best American cities with metro populations of 500,000 people or more, up from No. 54 in 2020.
The list highlights Albuquerque’s natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities and calls attention to the city’s rich cultural heritage and one-of-a-kind culinary scene. The city also ranked highly within a few of the report’s subcategories, coming in at No. 19 for Museums, No. 38 for Restaurants, No. 16 for Shopping and No. 14 for Weather.
The rankings’ methodology evaluates each qualifying city across the six pillars of place equity: Place, Product, Programming, People, Prosperity and Promotion. To capture the reality of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic within these rankings—now in its seventh year—Resonance added several new subcategories to the six performance pillars to better understand the economic performance of cities amidst the crisis.
Albuquerque hosted the Triple Crown Sports-Pathway Baseball Tournament June 14-24 at the Jennifer Riordan Spark Kindness Complex. We welcomed 45 teams, with 41 from Arizona, California, Colorado, Texas, Utah and Washington. Both five-day sessions were a great success. The Albuquerque Sports Commission, a division of Visit Albuquerque, along with our partners at ASM Global and area hotels are also gearing up for the Texas Premier New Balance National Championships, also taking place at the Jennifer Riordan Spark Kindness Complex, July 21- August 1. With 64 teams slated to participate in the championships, Albuquerque is sure to see baseball players and families throughout the community.
July is National Parks and Recreation Month, and WalletHub has ranked Albuquerque as the 8th Best City for Recreation in its report released earlier this month. WalletHub compared the 100 largest U.S. cities across 48 key indicators of recreation-friendliness including accessibility of entertainment and recreational facilities, the quality of parks and the weather. See the full report here.
Customer demand is strong and people are eager to plan overnight vacations, eat out, attend events and visit attractions. That’s great news for the hospitality industry, where our top goal is to create a welcoming environment and ensure a pleasant experience for our customers and guests. However, the staffing shortages affecting the industry are straining resources at many businesses. Some customers expect everything to operate exactly the way they remember it, back before the pandemic, and they are surprised when they have to wait a bit longer for their meal or are asked to make reservations or buy tickets in advance. Visit Albuquerque has developed a 13-minute training video with tips to help your newest employees communicate effectively with customers, set expectations and gain customers’ support and empathy. Share the video with your new hires to help give them the skills to develop rapport with customers, especially during challenging situations. Access the video here.
The New Mexico Hospitality Association, New Mexico Restaurant Association and Jennifer Riordan Foundation have launched a campaign that asks the public to be patient, kind and respectful when dealing with hospitality and restaurant staff. The campaign encourages guests and customers to follow the “Golden Rule” when patronizing hotels or restaurants and treat others as they’d wish to be treated. The Be Kind campaign will be shared on social media and will continue throughout the summer. In addition, Visit Albuquerque posted information on its website and social media accounts with tips on how to be a good customer or guest, including reminders that going out may be a little different now and asking for compassion, patience and humor.
With a surge in road trips, families and groups of all ages are beginning to hit the road as part of their summer travel plans. Simple things like updating business information and highlighting the services you offer can help travelers find and patronize your business. To help, Visit Albuquerque has teamed up with Destination Travel Network to provide tips on how local businesses can effectively market themselves and prepare for the summer travel season. We’ll provide these tips in every other issue of “Industry Insider.” Find some inspiration in the links below:
Visit Albuquerque’s ABQ365 Events Calendar offers a great opportunity to promote your upcoming 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!
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 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.
#AbqTours - History & Ghost Tours of Old Town was featured on Facebook’s Leader's Network and Small Business Ads. The feature highlighted the businesses use of Facebook to promote events, advertise special and cross-promote other local businesses. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Sandia Resort & Casino for reopening and completing a major expansion and renovation that totaled over $100 million and added 75,000 square feet to the property. Renovations include new carpeting and paint, an upgraded HVAC system, renovated hotel rooms and more.
On July 14, the Rio Metro Regional Transit District marked the 15th anniversary of the New Mexico Rail Runner Express. Congratulations to everyone who keeps the trains running on time for local residents as well as for visitors to our state!
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 recently joined or renewed their partnership with Visit Albuquerque. We appreciate your commitment to making Albuquerque a great place to live and to visit!