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That chill in the air means the holidays are quickly approaching. Mark your calendars for the annual Visit Albuquerque Holiday Party on Dec. 7 from 5-7 p.m. at the Marriott Pyramid North. There is more information and a link to RSVP below. It’s always exciting to mingle with Visit Albuquerque Partners and celebrate the holidays and the new year ahead.
This issue of Industry Insider includes information about business events our team has attended, our new online ticketing system, recent awards Visit Albuquerque and our Partners won along with recent media coverage of the city.
Thank you for being a Visit Albuquerque Partner!
Register to attend Visit Albuquerque’s Holiday Party. We’ll be kicking off the holiday season on Thursday, Dec. 7, at the Marriott Pyramid North. There will be hors d’oeuvres, drinks and lots of fun as we celebrate the end of the year and the strong work of 2023 with all of our Partners. There is no charge to attend the party, but we will be collecting donations at the door to assist members of our community who are in need. Please bring nonperishable food items and children’s clothing to donate. Reserve your spot now!
The inaugural Dia de los Muertos event in Old Town was a success. The week-long celebration included multiple ofrendas throughout Old Town, thousands of marigolds and a special community celebration on Nov. 2, where Visit Albuquerque volunteers and Visitor Services Manager Liz Burnam handed out biscochitos, Visitor Guides and other city information, and a special Dia de los Muertos coloring page for the kids.
Earlier this month, Visit Albuquerque launched a new ticketing platform that allows visitors to purchase tickets to local attractions and tours via our website or by using a tablet at our Visitor Information Center in Old Town. Visitors can purchase tickets, have them instantly delivered to their phone, and then redeem them later at participating attractions. The ticketing platform represents a convenience for travelers, provides a way to promote Albuquerque attractions, and offers an additional point of sale for businesses.
Once purchased, tickets are delivered instantly to a customer’s phone through text and email. Purchasers redeem the tickets for admission at participating attractions and businesses. There is no cost for Partners of Visit Albuquerque to participate in this new program, other than providing a wholesale rate for the tickets. Nine local tours and attractions are currently participating, and we expect to add more businesses in the coming months. See the ticketing system on our website at VisitABQ.org/get-tickets/, and contact Marketing@VisitABQ.org if you are interested in adding your business to the platform.
On Nov. 2, Visit Albuquerque won a gold Cumbre award from the New Mexico chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for its May 2022 “City to Nature” press trip. During the press trip, we hosted five travel writers who freelance for top-tier travel and news publications such as AFAR, AAA Traveler, Fodor’s Travel, the Miami Herald, the New York Post and Travel + Leisure. The writers experienced a variety of cultural, culinary and outdoor recreational experiences. The press trip has resulted in 12 national articles to date, generating over 415 million impressions and more than $3.8 million in estimated publicity value.
Visit Albuquerque received two TopHAT marketing awards from the New Mexico Hospitality Association. The “Red or Green” hot air balloon was the winner in the Most Innovative Campaign category. The balloon, which features a half-red, half-green design created by our partners at McKee Wallwork + Co. that plays off the official state question, serves as a floating billboard for Albuquerque. It has flown in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona and was made possible thanks to a partnership with Rainbow Ryders Hot Air Ballooning Co. Visit Albuquerque also took home a TopHAT award for Best Social Media Campaign for our "New in ABQ" video series. The series highlighted 20 new businesses that have opened in the city. Videos posted to Instagram and TikTok garnered more than 1.6 million views and resulted in upticks in traffic at many of the featured businesses.
Congratulations also to the Visit Albuquerque Partners that received 2023 TopHAT awards. Routes Bicycle Tours & Rentals received the Outstanding Attraction award for its "Bikes & Balloons" tour; Hotel Andaluz was recognized with the Innovation/Sustainability award; Joani Jones of the Crowne Plaza Albuquerque received the Community Engagement award; the Embassy Suites by Hilton Albuquerque was named Full-Service Hotel of the Year; and, in a tie, Deepesh Kholwadwala of Sun Capital Hotels and Parin Kumar of Ambience Hospitality were both recognized in the TopHAT category of Owner of the Year.
Season 2 of "Bands of Enchantment," which was filmed in Albuquerque in September 2022 and began airing on more than 30 PBS stations across the country in February 2023, has won a Rocky Mountain Emmy Award in the category of Arts & Entertainment, Long-Form Content. Visit Albuquerque helped promote and support production of the 10-episode series, and we advertise within the program to promote Albuquerque as a destination for live music. Season 3 of the program will begin airing on PBS stations in February 2024.
The Albuquerque International Sunport is inviting New Mexican business leaders to a reception launching a new business development initiative called Ascend. It focuses on small, local and/or minority-owned businesses. The reception is happening at the Sunport Dec. 6 from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. There is also the option to attend virtually. Register here if you’d like to attend.
Sun Country Airlines will add seasonal, twice-weekly nonstop service between the Albuquerque International Sunport and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport beginning in June 2024. Sun Country Airlines is a low-cost air carrier that recently expanded service to eight other domestic cities and two Canadian destinations.
The New Mexico Outdoor Recreation Division has a new grant opportunity for marketing outdoor recreation ventures. The Outdoor Marketing Grant is to expand participation in outdoor recreation experiences. Awards will range from $15,000 to $30,000 with more than $800,000 in total funding available.
Grant money can be used towards any marketing materials used to promote local or regional outdoor recreation opportunities in New Mexico, including event sponsorships, print brochures, digital and print ads and more. The grant is eligible to Tribes, Pueblos, Nations, municipalities, counties, nonprofits, K-12 schools/districts and colleges and universities.
You can view the full grant guide and application. Applications are open until Dec. 31, 2023. Any questions about the Outdoor Marketing Grant can be sent to Deputy Director AJ Jones at AJ.Jones@edd.nm.gov.