In celebration of National Travel and Tourism Week (NTTW), which takes place May 2-8, Visit Las Cruces will highlight the industry’s role in restoring the economy, rebuilding our workforce, and reconnecting America, with a series of informational pop-up booths, social media posts and a promotional video featuring local travel and tourism professionals.
“Travel and tourism play a big role in our local economy, so we want to celebrate how our industry is helping to drive economic recovery efforts in Las Cruces,” said Visit Las Cruces Director Rochelle Miller-Hernandez. “Not everyone thinks of Las Cruces as a destination for meetings, conventions, and sporting events, but these activities have been a consistent source of tourism spending over the years that have helped to create jobs, generate revenues and support local businesses.”
In 2019, Las Cruces had more than 750,000 visitors who spent approximately $70 million in tourism-related expenses, according to data from the City of Las Cruces and the New Mexico Tourism Department. The data also found that, on average, each visitor spent a total of $195 per day on tourism-related expenses such as lodging, food and beverage, retail, recreation and transportation.
“This week is the perfect opportunity to highlight the power of travel and welcome back visitors to our beautiful city,” said Assistant City Manager Ikani Taumoepeau. “We’re excited to help kickstart the economic recovery efforts by highlighting the things that make Las Cruces a wonderful place to visit, explore, and live.”
According to data from the Las Cruces Economic Development Department, there are nearly 6,000 tourism-related jobs in Las Cruces which make up nearly 12 percent of the local workforce. In 2020, Dona Ana County saw a loss of $685,000 in Lodgers’ Taxes, a year-over-year decrease of 40 percent, and a 15.5 percent year-over-year decrease in Tourism sector Gross Receipts Taxes, according to data from the New Mexico Tourism Department.
As part of the nationwide celebration, Visit Las Cruces will host informational pop-up booths throughout the week. The pop-up booths are scheduled to take place at: Dripping Springs Natural Area, Monday, May 3 from 7 to 9 a.m.; Courtyard by Marriott Las Cruces at NMSU, Wednesday, May 5 from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m.; New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, Thursday, May 6 from 10 a.m. to Noon; Rio Grande Winery, Friday, May 7 from 5 to 7 p.m.; and in front of the Rio Grande Theatre, Saturday, May 8 from 9 to 11 a.m.
Visit Las Cruces will also post information about the impact of the travel and tourism industry and fun travel facts throughout the week through the Visit Las Cruces facebook (facebook.com/lascrucescvb) and instagram (@VisitLasCruces) pages. In addition, Visit Las Cruces will be premiering a video highlighting the impact of the industry with video clips featuring local industry professionals.
“Before the pandemic, travel generated $2.6 trillion in economic output, supported 17 million American jobs and delivered a $51 billion trade surplus to the U.S.—evidence of the outsized role the industry will play in America’s broader economic recovery,” said U.S. Travel Association President and CEO Roger Dow.
According to a 2019 study from Tourism Economics, New Mexico had more than 37.5 million visitors who spent approximately $7.1 billion in New Mexico in 2018. The study also found that visitor spending sustains 8.5 percent of all jobs in New Mexico, and that tourism generates $900 in state and local taxes for every household in New Mexico.
“NTTW takes on a special significance this year as the travel industry looks to rebound quickly from the pandemic and accelerate recovery efforts,” Dow said. “The past year was incredibly challenging, but we saw the full power of the travel industry on display in the way we united and supported one another through this crisis.”
Celebrated annually the first full week in May, NTTW was created by Congress in 1983 to underscore the economic power of travel in the U.S. and celebrate the contributions of industry partners and professionals. This year’s theme, the Power of Travel, highlights the critical role that travel will play in driving economic recovery efforts and celebrates the contributions of the U.S. travel industry. For more information about the week, visit https://www.ustravel.org/nttw.