Tourism still a bright spot

January 16, 2019

Note: This is an except from a story that originally appeared in the Albuquerque Journal.

At the state level, tourism provided $6.6 billion in direct visitor spending, according to Aimee Awonohopay, spokeswoman for the state’s Tourism Department.

According to the state Department of Workforce Solutions, statewide employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 15,200, or 17 percent, from November 2013 to November 2018. That was more than three times the percentage increase for total nonfarm employment, which was up 5.1 percent.

In Albuquerque, the city’s tourism industry employs over 43,000 people, the most ever, Armenta said.

She also pointed to a Longwoods International Travel USA study conducted for the state Tourism Department, which said the city’s tourism industry brings about 6.2 million visitors to Albuquerque each year, generating about $69 million in local taxes.

Armenta also reported that hotel occupancy for 2018 was up 3.6 percent and the average daily room rate increased 2.7 percent, according to Smith Travel Research.

The Albuquerque Convention Center this year is slated to host the same number of citywide groups as 2018, but Visit Albuquerque says there will be more room nights and a higher direct spend. So far, there 18 citywide events, 11 meetings and 113 business groups booked for the convention center, including the National Senior Games.

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