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This summer marked our 38th Annual Meeting and one of the strongest years in our organization’s history. We are thrilled to report an all-time high for employment in the leisure and hospitality industry and record-breaking numbers and accomplishments for FY18. I encourage you to read on for all the details.
We’d like to extend a big thanks to all of you, as this record-breaking year would not be possible without the collaboration of the hospitality industry as a whole in this city! With FY18 behind us, we are eager to jump into even bigger goals in 2019. We know that even with this positive momentum, Albuquerque has significant additional capacity for success.
Summer is coming to an end and we’re heading into the fall season - and that means cooler weather, warmer food, and the most popular season of all for travel to Albuquerque. We’re all gearing up for Balloon Fiesta and all of the great tourism benefits the world-renowned event brings. Early indications point to a very strong year. We wish everyone a successful Fiesta and fall travel season.
We are also in the midst of National Hispanic Heritage Month, and National Native American Heritage Month is right around the corner. In Albuquerque, we take pride in our community as a melting pot of cultures and a place of rich diversity year-round. We’re eager to celebrate the cultures that make this city what it is during these commemorative months, and we hope you’ll join us in inviting visitors to experience our rich cultural diversity.
Thank you again for making this year such a success,
President & CEO
Whether you are new to Visit Albuquerque or a long-time partner, we encourage you to take advantage of this FREE Orientation. You will meet the staff of the Development Department who will review your partner benefits and provide you with valuable information on how we can work together to promote your business or organization to the leisure traveler, convention attendees and local ABQ residents. You must register in advance as space is limited. Please call 505-222-4307 or email PartnerEvents@VisitABQ.org.
Thursday, September 20, 2018 OR Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Visit Albuquerque Office
20 First Plaza Galleria - Ste. 601
9:30 am - 11:00 am
Please note: Beginning in October, Orientations will be held the 3rd Wednesday of each month. There will be no Orientation in November.
New to Albuquerque or the hospitality industry? Maybe you are simply looking to enhance your customer service skills. If so, join our ACE class! ACE is a three and a half hour course that explores things to do and see in the Albuquerque area as well as do's and don'ts of customer service. Cost is $25 per student. Contact 505-222-4338 or email PartnerEvents@VisitABQ.org to register. The next ACE opportunity is:
Monday, October 22, 2018
Sheraton Albuquerque Uptown
2600 Louisiana Blvd. NE
Registration Begins: 11:45 am/Class Begins: 12:00 pm
Note: Lunch is not provided
During our Annual Meeting held at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque on August 28, Visit Albuquerque celebrated one of the strongest years of marketing Albuquerque as a visitor, convention and sports destination in its 38-year history, announcing an all-time high for employment in the leisure and hospitality industry, the most citywide meeting and event bookings occurring in a single year and record-breaking lodgers’ tax collections, which topped $13 million for fiscal year 2018—a 7.3 percent increase over FY17.
Visit Albuquerque President & CEO Tania Armenta and Board of Directors Chair Cynthia Stanley welcomed more than 325 tourism and business professionals to the event to hear remarks from Mayor Tim Keller, City Council President Ken Sanchez and Visit Albuquerque leadership.
We thanked Cynthia Stanley for her year of service as our strong and steady chair while she shared her heartfelt enthusiasm for Visit Albuquerque and our destination. Attendees also heard from Visit Albuquerque’s new board chair, Jim Gay, who is the Regional Director for New Mexico Sports and Wellness. Jim’s wit and passion for Albuquerque were evident in his brief and entertaining self-introduction.
“Tourism is a core component of our economic development and is what’s been lifting up ABQ over the last several years,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “Albuquerque is home to unmatched natural beauty, one-of-a-kind New Mexican cuisine, a fascinating cultural history and is a city that is unique on a level that very few other cities in America can compete with—that’s our competitive advantage. Visit Albuquerque works to share all of those things that make our city special, and that’s why I’m so optimistic in regards to the work they’re doing, and excited for what’s to come.”
“Travel and tourism is big business for Albuquerque, and continues to be a very bright spot for the city,” said Tania Armenta, President & CEO of Visit Albuquerque. “The successes and data touted today underline what a vital economic engine travel and tourism is for the Albuquerque area, and we look forward to working together to build on this positive momentum as we move into the next fiscal year.”
Read the full release here.
Albuquerque Economic Development, Inc. (AED) recently announced a special initiative with Conway, Inc., the publisher of Site Selection Magazine, to feature the Albuquerque metro area in the September 2018 Intelligence Report.
Visit Albuquerque took advantage of this great opportunity for our community to share our story about the many assets that make Albuquerque a great choice for business investment by purchasing an accompanying ad. “New Mexico is a breeding ground for ingenuity, producing some of the most meaningful scientific and technological breakthroughs in history. We have the spirit of creative disruption and intuitively understand the unique and powerful interplay of culture and technology. Our distinct quality of place helps us attract the best and brightest talent, and we can’t wait to tell more people about it in this special report.” - AED
See Visit Albuquerque’s half page ad in the special section here.
Thousands flocked to the streets of Downtown Albuquerque on August 25, 2018 for cultural celebration at the second annual SOMOS ABQ. The event, which features music, food and art installations, is put on each year in a union and celebration of Albuquerque’s arts, culture and community. SOMOS ABQ showcases some of the very best Albuquerque has to offer and featured world-class entertainment, food vendors and local restaurants, a huge variety of art installations, entrepreneurs, technology companies and new tech innovations, and much more.
In our work to promote Albuquerque as a destination, Visit ABQ has recently wrapped up several sweepstakes opportunities, made possible in collaboration with many of our partners.
Strike a Chord with Culture in ABQ:
This music-themed trip included a custom-made Pimentel guitar, two nights at Hotel Albuquerque, admission to Tablao Flamenco Albuquerque, passes to the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, and one $500 Visa gift card for gas, airfare or shopping.
Out of 3,580 entries received, the winner is Jack F. from Churchville, NY!
This event-focused trip included two nights for four people at the Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, admission for four to SOMOSABQ, passes for four to the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway, and a $200 Visa gift card to be used for gas, airfare or shopping.
Out of 509 entries received, the winner was Mark H. from Glendale, AZ!
2018 Balloon Fiesta:
This hot air balloon experience and Albuquerque trip includes three night hotel accommodations, a hot air balloon ride with Rainbow Ryders, two day admission to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta with VIP access to the Gondola Club Hospitality Suite, a two pack of tickets to the ABQ Trolley Co city tour, admission to the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, two official Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta jackets, and a $200 Visa gift card to be used for gas, airfare or shopping.
Out of 20,948 entries received, the winner is Cecy M. from El Paso, TX!
In addition to the incredible announcement of an all-time high for employment in the leisure and hospitality industry, the most citywide meeting and event bookings occurring in a single year and record-breaking lodgers’ tax collections; Visit ABQ is also thrilled to report increases in hotel performance, with hotel occupancy up 2.3 percent and average daily rate up 2 percent calendar year-to-date through July 2018, according to STR (formerly known as Smith Travel Research). Regarding passenger traffic at the Albuquerque International Sunport, there has been a 13.2 percent increase of all passengers January through June 2018 year-over-year (calendar year to-date).
Visit Albuquerque also saw successes through marketing efforts for FY18. The organization’s PR team was involved with over 1,450 articles about the city with the potential to reach over 2.3 billion people and an estimated publicity value of over $9 million. Visit ABQ’s social media efforts continue to pay off with an increased following of 9.4 percent over FY17 across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.
Additional key visitor data for FY18 include:
An increase in overall bookings, due in part to the success of the new Albuquerque Regional Sports Complex.
55 citywide meetings and events were secured, the highest number ever, and of which 23 were new citywide bookings, meaning they hadn’t occurred in Albuquerque within the last three years.
221,228 total room nights were booked for the future, an increase of 3.3 percent over FY17. These bookings also account for the second-highest year in estimated direct spending.
347 total conventions/meetings and sporting events were booked, up 7.4 percent from FY17.
Group tour rooms nights were up 13 percent from the previous fiscal year.
Visit Albuquerque’s Albuquerque Concierge Excellence (ACE) training program has trained more than 1,000 participants since the program’s inception in 2009.
Overall the travel and tourism industry in Albuquerque has experienced great success as one of the strongest contributors to the city’s economy. As one of the largest private industries in the city, the tourism industry in Albuquerque:
Generates more than $2 billion annually
Employs over 43,000 people in Albuquerque, the highest employment ever for the leisure and hospitality industry
Brings approximately 6.2 million visitors to the city each year, which generates about $69 million in local taxes
Read the full release here.
The Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Albuquerque and the Sheraton Albuquerque Airport Hotel successfully partnered with Visit Albuquerque to attend the American Society of Association Executives 2018 Annual Meeting and Exposition August 18-21, in Chicago. ASAE is where thousands of association professionals and industry partners gather to exchange time, resources, strategies and solutions.
Representatives from the Visit Albuquerque sales team attended Connect Marketplace in Salt Lake City August 23-25. The team conducted over 90 one-on-one appointments with meeting planners and sports tournament organizers over two days. Additionally, Visit Albuquerque co-hosted a cocktail reception with Visit Madison and the Providence Convention & Visitors Bureau for prospective clients. We were delighted that representatives from Hotel Albuquerque, Hotel Chaco and the Sheraton Uptown were in attendance at the event.
Albuquerque was proud to host the National Veterans Golden Age Games August 3-8. The Games are the premier senior adaptive rehabilitation program in the United States, and the only national multi-event sports and recreational seniors’ competition program designed to improve the quality of life for all older Veterans. Over 1,000 athletes, age 55 or older, participated in the 2018 games.
The American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association (AIANTA) is hosting their 20th Annual American Indian Tourism Conference (AITC) at Isleta Resort & Casino this week, bringing the conference back to the Albuquerque area 20 years after the conference's inception here. AITC is the only national conference on tourism dedicated to Native America. Visit Albuquerque will be in attendance and will be presenting an educational session on working with the media in travel and tourism. We hope to see you there! Find out more about the conference at www.aitc2018.com.
Visit Albuquerque’s Vice President of Sales, Kristin McGrath, was featured this month in Meetings Today in the article, “Q&A: Kristin and Erin McGrath (Sisters Working in the Hospitality Industry.” The story, in which Kristin was interviewed with her sister, Erin McGrath (also a hospitality industry professional) focused on the positive impact the McGrath sisters are making in the hospitality and tourism industry. We encourage you to read the full story in Meetings Today.
Here at Visit Albuquerque, we’re busy at work creating the 2019 Visitors Guide and we’re always developing new marketing initiatives. We want to talk about you!
Do you have an upcoming anniversary? Did you just remodel? New name? New tour? New feature? New photos or videos? New concept? New specialty dish? Have you moved, or about to? Grand opening? Send anything and everything to Media@VisitABQ.org.
This past August the Turquoise Museum hosted a picturesque volunteer meeting at their brand new location at 400 2nd Street downtown. Volunteers experienced the pristine displays first hand and are anxious to refer visitors to the Turquoise Museum once they officially re-open this fall.
A volunteer meeting is an ideal opportunity for your business to showcase your facility to our front line “employees” who assist visitors every day. Our volunteers assist about 100 visitors per day at each of our visitor centers. Our volunteers work very hard to promote our partners (another wonderful benefit of partnership!) and this is a great way to help them to become familiar with your facilities and all of your amenities. For more information or to schedule contact Roxane Cisneros at Cisneros@VisitABQ.org or 505-222-4304.
While our city’s diverse cultural heritage is a focus year-round here at Visit Albuquerque, we will also be celebrating our rich Hispanic and Native heritage during Hispanic Heritage Month and Native American Heritage Month. Through online content, social media promotion and media outreach we’ll be ramping up our efforts to promote and share Hispanic and Native culture throughout the city in the coming months. Help us invite visitors to celebrate with us, and send your events, stories and news surrounding Hispanic heritage and Native American heritage and the celebratory months to Media@VisitABQ.org.
National Hispanic Heritage Month: September 15-October 15
National Native American Heritage Month: November
Partners, are you taking advantage of the opportunity to provide great service to your visitors by supplying them with Visitors Guides? If you are, well done!
If not, pick up your supply in time for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta! The visitors guides come 50 to a box. You may pick up as many boxes as you’d like. Just call ahead so we can be prepared for you. This 84 page guide has everything a visitor needs to ensure the best experience while here in Albuquerque.
Contact Novella Trujillo at 505-222-4307 or Novella@VisitABQ.org to make arrangements to pick them up.
For partners that qualify, 2019 Visitors Guide Listing Update Forms were mailed the week of August 27. Please check your U.S. Mail for a large white envelope with a red sticker indicating the form is enclosed.
It is extremely important that the information for your listing is confirmed as it will be in print for an entire year!
Deadline to return forms was Friday, September 14, 2018. If you did not receive your form(s), please contact Janice Pomeroy ASAP at Pomeroy@VisitABQ.org or 505-222-4301.
For new partners that joined after August 1, the 10-word listing comment provided on your enrollment form will be printed. If you would like to change that, please contact Janice.
The City of Albuquerque's Urban Enhancement Trust Fund (UETF) Committee announced the opportunity to apply for UETF funding for arts and cultural programs for the FY 2020 and 2021 funding cycle. The deadline is Thursday, October 25 at 4:00 p.m. Available funding for the FY 2020 and 2021 funding cycle is $350,000.
UETF is a public endowment created by the Albuquerque City Council in 1983 to fund projects that enhance and enrich the cultural environment of Albuquerque, New Mexico. An eleven-member citizens' committee called the UETF Committee is responsible for establishing guidelines, criteria for project selection for each two-year granting cycle and oversight for each funded project throughout the two years.
For a limited time, on a reviewed first come, first served basis, the City of Albuquerque Planning Department and Cultural Services Department will allow approved artists an opportunity to visit some areas of the normally off-limits buildings of the Rail Yards to capture images, find inspiration for and even create works of art in, around and about the Rail Yards.
Submission deadline: First come first served up to 100 artists; a waiting list for alternates will be formed after the first 100 are selected.
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New Mexico Tourism Department officials accepted the 2018 Mercury Award for "Best Co-op Marketing Program" at the U.S. Travel Association's ESTO (Educational Seminar for Travel Organizations) conference. The Mercury Awards recognize tourism offices for excellence and creative accomplishment in state and territory destination marketing and promotion; and inspire, through showcasing outstanding work, the continued development of imaginative and exciting marketing and promotional programs.
Last month, Chef Marc Quiñones represented New Mexico in the Great American Seafood Cook-off, the biggest seafood contest in the country. After cooking before a live audience, Chef Marc presented his dish to a panel of six national judges who scored based on a number of elements including presentation, composition, and of course, flavor.