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Industry Insider

July 2023


July 1 marked the first anniversary of the Albuquerque Tourism Marketing District, which added a 2% assessment to the total amount paid by overnight guests at approximately 140 lodging properties in Albuquerque. The supplemental funds have been a game changer in expanding Visit Albuquerque’s marketing efforts, allowing us to enter new markets, advertise year-round and introduce innovative advertising campaigns. Our appreciation goes to the local lodging industry for its support as we successfully compete with other destinations for leisure travelers, meetings and sports events and promote Albuquerque as a top place to visit.

This issue of Industry Insider includes details on some special ABQ Ride buses, a successful convention in Albuquerque and an opportunity for Partners to expand their online reach.

Although we’re in the middle of summer, Visit Albuquerque is already making preparations to help promote your business to visitors for this year’s Balloon Fiesta! We hope you will submit a free coupon for our City Guide to celebrate the world-renowned event. Please also let us know of any Balloon Fiesta specials you are running.

Thank you for being a Visit Albuquerque Partner.

Tania Armenta 
President & CEO
Visit Albuquerque


ABQ Ride Debuts Three Visit Albuquerque Bus Wraps

Commuters in Albuquerque have an opportunity to ride on ABQ Ride buses that showcase Albuquerque’s rich culture and some of its most treasured traditions.

The City of Albuquerque partnered with Visit Albuquerque to wrap three buses in the ABQ Ride system with vibrant, engaging artwork that gives riders and passersby a closer look at what makes Albuquerque distinctive and special. The three designs on the buses originated from an advertising campaign that Visit Albuquerque has been running in Denver. In February, Visit Albuquerque wrapped five commuter trains on the Denver light rail system with eye-catching designs that celebrate Albuquerque’s culture and traditions. Each of the three ABQ Ride buses highlights an authentic Albuquerque experience:

Three ABQ Ride buses wrapped in Visit Albuquerque designs

  • A bus is wrapped to resemble the exterior of adobe houses like the ones found in Albuquerque’s Old Town and other neighborhoods throughout the city. The design replicates the texture of sun-baked adobe and even features the bright red chile ristras and turquoise doors that decorate many Albuquerque homes.
  • The Spanish Colonial art of punched tin is showcased on another bus, with intricate scalloped borders and floral motifs created by Jason Younis y Delgado, a fifth-generation New Mexico tinsmith.
  • A bus wrap that honors traditional Pueblo pottery designs was developed in collaboration with the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center in Albuquerque. New Mexico is home to 19 Native American Pueblos, each with its own artistic styles and traditions.

Printed on each bus is a QR code that links to information about the artist and the artwork.

Albuquerque Hosts Almost 4,000 Attendees for Al-Anon Family Groups International Convention

Al-Anon Family Groups held its 2023 International Convention at the Albuquerque Convention Center June 29-July 2 with nearly 4,000 in-person attendees. The event featured an opening party on Civic Plaza. Food, friends, music and dancing were on the agenda for attendees of this citywide convention that utilized seven hotels in Downtown, Midtown and Uptown. Alan Medina with Brown Bear Gallery and Tess Coats with Luna and Luz, both Albuquerque Old Town businesses, took advantage of the opportunity provided by Visit Albuquerque to display and sell local artists’ creations and goods representative of New Mexico during the Civic Plaza event. Twenty countries were represented among the convention attendees.

We appreciate all the industry partners that worked hard to meet the group’s needs and deliver strong service during their visit.

AlAnon Family Groups gather for a convention at the Albuquerque Convention Center

AlAnon Family Groups hosts a Party on the Plaza for its convention

Visit Albuquerque Attends Meeting Professionals International WEC

Last month, Visit Albuquerque’s Vice President of Sales, Services and Sports Scott Craighead and Senior National Sales Manager Tabitha Stallworth attended Meeting Professionals International’s World Education Congress, the world’s largest industry association for meeting and event professionals. Over 1,500 people attended. 

Laura Kesselman, an accomplished meeting planner in the Albuquerque market and former MPI New Mexico Chapter President along with former Visit Albuquerque Board Chair, joined Tabitha and Scott. Laura supported the Visit Albuquerque team on hosted buyer appointments and other networking events to provide a peer-to-peer testimonial for conducting successful meetings in Albuquerque. Angela Case, National Sales Manager with Heritage Hotels and Resorts, also joined for the hosted buyer program and other networking opportunities. Roberta Ricci, Chief Experience Officer, and Minerva Jurado-Perea, Destination Director, also joined from the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce.

Visit Albuquerque had one-on-one appointments with 20 hosted buyers, including meeting planners from various organizations, trade associations and corporations such as Helms Briscoe, Conference Direct and Maritz Global Events.

Visit Albuquerque’s presence was strong throughout the meeting with branding on elevator doors located in the main lobby of the convention center.

Scott and Laura at MPI WEC 2023MPI WEC 2023

Sign Up to Participate in Tourism Exchange USA

Your hospitality business can be a part of a new partnership between New Mexico True and Tourism Exchange USA that is designed to help grow your online bookings and international visitation.

Tourism Exchange USA is a B2B digital marketplace that connects inventory and availability from tourism businesses like yours with a diverse marketplace of OTAs, travel distributors and international buyers. The goal of this program is to help businesses increase their distribution and online visibility, including helping offline businesses with making inventory bookable online for the first time. 

If you’re interested in learning more, plan to attend an industry webinar on Aug. 15 at 10 a.m. with information about the program and its benefits for your business and our community. Register here.

If you’re interested in being an early adopter to get connected to the Tourism Exchange, you can learn more and start the application process at

Upcoming Meetings and Sports Events

In August 2023, more than 1,500 people will participate in meetings and sports events booked and supported by Visit Albuquerque. These events will generate an estimated $1.4 million in direct spend and include:


Group Name

Est. Attendance

Meeting Location

Est. Direct Spending

Aug. 10-12

Turquoise Museum’s Turquoise United


Albuquerque Convention Center


Aug. 12-15

International Society of Arboriculture Annual Conference


Albuquerque Convention Center


Aug. 16-19

Tuskegee Airmen Inc. 2023 Annual Convention


Crowne Plaza Albuquerque


Aug. 22-24

National Association of Medicaid Fraud 2023 Training Program


The Clyde Hotel


Aug. 24-26

2023 American Podiatric Medical Association State Advocacy Meeting


Hotel Andaluz


Please help welcome these visitors and groups to Albuquerque!