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Fodor’s cites Value, Link to ‘Breaking Bad’

Sandia Peak Tramway
Sandia Peak Tramway

Albuquerque: The price is nice, the pace is slow and there is something for families, nature lovers and “Breaking Bad” fans alike.

Or so says travel guide publisher Fodor’s, which has named the Duke City to its 2013 “Go List,” a lineup introduced as “the top 25 trips to book right now.”

New Mexico’s largest city made the cut alongside destinations like Botswana in Africa and Amsterdam. Albuquerque is one of just six American locales included on the list, which is available online at www.fodors.com.

The honor is a good sign on a number of fronts, say officials at the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau. They have seen comparable mentions spark widespread interest in the past.

ACVB Vice President Tania Armenta said the Fodor’s nod will likely raise the city’s profile among consumers and also among travel journalists who will continue spreading the word in the months to come.

“Based on previous rankings that are similar, they are a catalyst for tremendous interest,” Armenta said. “We’re very excited about this one in particular because we think we’re ending 2012 with good momentum, and we think a ranking like this will only help catapult us into 2013.”

Each of Fodor’s 25 featured locations fit into one of four categories: a value destination, a “buzzy” hotspot, a newly accessible area or the site of “travel-worthy” events.

Albuquerque registered for its value, as did New Orleans and several international destinations like Seville, Spain, and the Azores Islands in the Atlantic Ocean.

Fodor’s lauded Albuquerque for its array of “family-friendly fun” and cites the ABQ BioPark and the area’s pueblo architecture. It noted various events, including the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and the Los Ranchos Growers’ Market.

Wineries — specifically Gruet — earned mention, as did the city’s affiliation with “Breaking Bad.” The popular, critically acclaimed TV series is set and filmed in Albuquerque, something local tourism officials say has definitely helped raise awareness of Albuquerque among travelers. “But even with all the attention,” the Fodor’s profile states, “(the city) motors along at the same pace — nice and slow, like the hot air balloons that dot its sky during the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta every October.”

The Fodor’s profile also notes that visitors to The Candy Lady in Old Town can buy a special blue candy based on the colorful meth featured in “Breaking Bad.”

Debbie Ball, The Candy Lady owner, said Fodor’s has mentioned her shop in previous publications and it has boosted traffic. She said this recognition should do the same.

“Any little bit of publicity helps all of us, and we try to push it onto the rest of Old Town,” Ball said.

Sue Brawley, a volunteer co-manager of the Los Ranchos Growers Market, also expects to see an uptick in out-of-town visitors due to the Fodor’s notice.

We really do enjoy that sort of thing and it does make a difference,” she said.

ACVB officials point out that Albuquerque regularly does well in travel-related rankings. The city’s 2012 mentions included Trip Advisor’s “15 Destinations on the Rise” and Hotwire.com’s “Top 10 Value Cities in the U.S.” According to Fodor’s, its senior editorial team started with a list of 75 destinations and ultimately whittled it down to 25 for this year’s “Go List.”

Other U.S. locales cited by Fodor’s are Brooklyn, N.Y.; Portland, Ore.; Gettysburg, Pa.; and Walt Disney World.
— This article appeared on page A1 of the Albuquerque Journal

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