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Industry Insider

March 2023


Spring is finally here, and with it comes the beginning of a busy travel period. Like you, we look forward to welcoming visitors to our city for exciting spring and summer activities and exploration. If your business or organization has special events, offers or promotions planned for the spring or summer, please let us know so we can help spread the word.

March is also Women’s History Month. Each March, we celebrate the accomplished, inspiring women in our community and the women throughout history who have helped shape Albuquerque into the destination it is today.

Don’t forget about Global Meetings Industry Day on March 30. The day is an opportunity to highlight the impact of conferences, conventions and meetings on the local economy. Join Visit Albuquerque on Civic Plaza from 12-1 p.m. for a special event featuring local food trucks, networking and remarks from industry leaders. To attend, register here.

Thank you for being a Visit Albuquerque Partner.

Tania Armenta 
President & CEO
Visit Albuquerque


Visit Albuquerque Launches Grant Program

Visit Albuquerque is excited to announce the launch of its Tourism Grant Program. The program's goal is to spark innovative ideas that contribute to Albuquerque’s vibrancy and build new, creative visitor and resident experiences that grow a more diverse and thriving tourism economy. Applications are open from now until April 28.

Two types of funding are available for the 2023 grant cycle. Applicants for Innovator grants can apply for up to $50,000 for project implementation. A 1:1 funding match is required for the amount requested. Applicants for Incubator grants can apply for up to $10,000 for project implementation. Two letters of support are required for Incubator applications.

The program is funded by revenue generated by the Albuquerque Tourism Marketing District. To learn more about the Tourism Grant Program and to apply, click here. There is an informational workshop for interested applicants happening April 3 at 3:30 p.m. To register for the workshop, click here.

An illustrated image of Albuquerque with Tourism Grant Program logo

Visit Albuquerque Attends MIC of Colorado

Visit Albuquerque exhibited at the Meetings Industry Council of Colorado (MIC) Education Conference and Tradeshow with special guest, Jason Younis y Delgado. Jason is a fifth-generation tinsmith who was raised in Santa Fe and currently lives in Albuquerque. A juried member of the Spanish Colonial Arts Society, Jason demonstrated his craft to attendees who stopped at the Visit Albuquerque booth. Jason’s engaging presence at the booth created strong interest and traffic, and the sales team generated over 20 qualified leads for meetings business out of the Rocky Mountain region and beyond.

Jason’s artwork is featured on one of the Visit Albuquerque’s train wraps that started running on the Denver light rail system at the end of February. While Jason was in Denver for MIC, Visit Albuquerque interviewed him on video with the wrapped train featuring his design in the background. MIC is the largest meetings industry gathering in the Rocky Mountain Region with more than 1,000 attendees. 

MIC Colorado 2023

Jason in front of tin work train in Denver

Visit Albuquerque Attends Events in Washington, D.C.

Several major meetings industry organizations held events the week of March 6-10 in the Washington, D.C., area, presented as “Power of Purpose – Business Events Industry Week.”  Associate Director of Sales Larry Atchison, along with Vice President of Sales, Services and Sports Scott Craighead, exhibited at Professional Convention Managers Association (PCMA) Showcase and networked at American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) Springtime Revived. Larry and Scott generated 36 qualified leads from D.C.-area association market event producers.

Following PCMA Showcase, Scott attended the Destinations International (DI) Convention Sales & Services Summit for a day of peer-to-peer learning with other destination marketing organizations. Topics at the Summit included workforce development, risk management, event trends, performance measurement and business forecasting. Scott serves on the DI Convention Sales and Services Committee.

PCMA Showcase 2023

DI Sales and Services Summit 2023

Media Mission in Denver Highlights Albuquerque’s Cuisine and Culture

Visit Albuquerque’s Media Relations team conducted a media mission in Denver March 21-23, during which they met with Denver- and Boulder-based media affiliated with a variety of top publications, including AAA, Matador Network, Food & Wine, Travel + Leisure, 5280, AFAR, Condé Nast Traveler, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Denver Post, Sunset Magazine and more. As part of the mission and in coordination with the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, the National Institute of Flamenco and fifth-generation tinsmith artist Jason Younis y Delgado, Visit Albuquerque invited area media and meeting planners to experience “An Evening of Albuquerque Culture & Cuisine” on March 22 at the Banshee House in Denver’s up-and-coming RiNo District.

Attendees were able to experience multiple activations that took place simultaneously throughout the course of the evening, from a tinwork demonstration to a flamenco performance, and sampled Native American cuisine from the Indian Pueblo Kitchen paired with beer and wine from Albuquerque breweries and wineries in partnership with the New Mexico Wine Association and the New Mexico Brewers Guild. Visit ABQ received tremendous feedback regarding the event, with several attendees already reaching out to plan their trip to the city. We are so grateful to our many partners who helped ensure this event was a success!

A look at the media mission that took place in Denver for Visit Albuquerque

Upcoming Meetings and Sports Events

In April 2023, almost 14,000 people will participate in meetings and sports events booked and supported by Visit Albuquerque. These events will generate an estimated $5.8 million in direct spend and include:


Group Name

Est. Attendance

Meeting Location

Est. Direct Spending

April 2

New Mexico Youth Soccer Association Spring Olympic Development Program & Young Olympians Program Training 2


Santa Ana Soccer Complex


April 7-9

United States Specialty Sports Association Easter Baseball Tournament


Jennifer Riordan Spark Kindness Complex


April 13-15

Rocky Mountain Psychological Association Annual Spring Rocky Mountain Convention


Hotel Albuquerque


April 16

New Mexico Youth Soccer Association Spring Olympic Development Program & Young Olympians Program Training 3


Santa Ana Soccer Complex


April 18-21

Itron, Inc. Annual Energy Forecasting Meeting


Hotel Albuquerque


April 21-23

Showbiz National Talent 2023


DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Albuquerque


April 24-29

Overeaters Anonymous 2023 World Service Business Conference


Embassy Suites by Hilton Albuquerque


April 25-28

Society of Southwest Archivists 2023


Hotel Albuquerque


April 28-30

Sun Country Region Volleyball Association 2023 Regional Championships


Albuquerque Convention Center


April 29-May 5

Trauma Center Association of America Annual Trauma Conference


Hotel Albuquerque


April 30-May 3

National Association of State Directors of Migrant Education National Conference


Albuquerque Convention Center


April 30-May 4

National Association for Public Defense 2023 We the Defenders


Crowne Plaza Albuquerque


April 30

New Mexico Youth Soccer Association Spring Olympic Development Program & Young Olympians Program Training 4


Santa Ana Soccer Complex


Please help welcome these visitors and groups to Albuquerque!

State Legislature Passes Budget

The 60-day session of the New Mexico Legislature ended March 18 with lawmakers sending a FY24 budget package to Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. Included in the package is a $24.2 million base budget for the New Mexico Tourism Department, an increase of $4.2 million from FY23. The Tourism Department said the increase was necessary to accommodate rising costs of advertising placements due to inflation as well as to fully staff the department.

In addition, the Legislature approved a $15 million special appropriation to the Tourism Department for national marketing and advertising. The Legislature also approved a $3.5 million special appropriation to create a Tourism Enterprise Fund for local and regional tourism development. The Governor has until April 7 to sign the budget and other bills passed during the legislative session.

A bill that would have provided a tax credit for the renovation of at least 40% of guest rooms at qualifying hotels was tabled by the Senate Tax, Business and Transportation Committee. Bills to increase the statewide minimum wage and to create a state-run paid family leave program also failed to advance.

Applications Open for Event Grants from New Mexico True

Applications opened March 21 for the New Mexico Tourism Department’s Tourism Event Growth & Sustainability Program (TEGS), which provides technical assistance, marketing support and sponsorships to qualified New Mexico events that support tourism.

Three types of funding are available under the TEGS program:

  • Accelerator grants provide technical assistance such as assessing an event’s website and social media presence, auditing the event’s operations, and making recommendations for improvement. The event may receive up to $5,000 reimbursement to execute recommended improvements.
  • Cooperative marketing grants provide a 2-to-1 match, up to $10,000, to help market and advertise an event.
  • Sponsorships provide up to $50,000 from the New Mexico Tourism Department as well as the opportunity to participate in a national sponsorship sales program.

To be eligible, events must align with the New Mexico True brand and result in out-of-state tourism or in-state tourism that results in overnight stays. For full details about the application process and criteria and a link to the online application, visit New Mexico True’s TEGS page. The application deadline is April 21, 2023.


Sign Up for the Tourism Exchange

New Mexico True has partnered with Tourism Exchange USA to launch a Tourism Exchange for New Mexico businesses. You’ll be able to connect your business to the Exchange, allowing global distributors to package and sell your products and create itineraries and experiences for visitors. The New Mexico Tourism Department and Tourism Exchange USA will be hosting an informational webinar to explain the benefits of the exchange and walk through how to sign up. More details will be released about the webinar soon.

To get more information, visit Tourism Exchange USA’s website. To sign up to participate, click here.

The logo for Tourism Exchange USA in partnership with New Mexico True

Visit Albuquerque Welcomes New Staff Members

Visit Albuquerque is excited to welcome two new employees to the organization. Mara Saubers will serve as the Senior Convention Services Manager. Mara has extensive experience in the hospitality industry, having served in sales for the Albuquerque Convention Center, services for Heritage Hotels & Resorts, and sales for the Santa Fe Convention & Visitors Bureau. Mara will develop and execute event services, with sales responsibilities for the small meetings market and for the New Mexico market. Mara begins work on April 6. 

Megan Martin joined Visit Albuquerque as the Marketing Specialist for Meetings and Sports Events earlier this month. Previously, Megan was an Account Executive with James Korenchen Public Relations, working with various clients including Hyatt Regency and beWellnm. In addition, Megan served as a reporter and researcher for Albuquerque Business First, writing for the publication’s tourism and travel beat. Megan received a BA in Communication and Journalism from the University of New Mexico in 2014, and an MBA in Marketing Management from New Mexico Highlands University in 2020. Megan was born and raised in Albuquerque and can be found taking in live music at a local venue in her spare time.