Delivery alert

There may be an issue with the delivery of your newspaper. This alert will expire at NaN. Click here for more info.

Recover password

Sustainable tourism development NM’s goal

There’s something incredible happening in the Ruidoso tourism industry.

The local tourism industry in the Village of Ruidoso is growing and diversifying through the initiative of local entrepreneurs and the willingness of local governments to partner with those entrepreneurs to help make their outdoor recreation business dreams a reality.

The Village of Ruidoso took inventory of its tourism and outdoor recreation assets and decided to enlist local entrepreneurs and investors to build out new experiences. Through private-public partnerships, Ruidoso has added an inter-tube snow park, an indoor/outdoor amusement park, music festivals at a public park, a 27-hole disk golf course, and over 40 miles of multi-use trails. An entrepreneurial couple even dedicated part of their brick-and-mortar location to serve as a business incubator for other entrepreneurs looking to kickstart an outdoor recreation business — a move that has produced four additional businesses for Ruidoso.

What we’re seeing in Ruidoso is organic growth of the local economy through tourism, encouraged by a collaborative spirit and a willingness to engage with local entrepreneurs and investors to identify opportunity and develop tourism experiences. It’s a model that embraces the benefits of smart, sustainable tourism development – and by applying a similar model at the state level that helps communities grow their economy and develop tourism experiences, we have the opportunity to turbocharge economic development across the state.

This is why the New Mexico Tourism Department is committed to producing a Destination Development Roadmap that shall serve as a strategic plan for sustainable tourism development that allows communities to capitalize on this growing industry.

The Destination Development Roadmap will engage with stakeholders at the state, local, tribal and federal levels through three phases over the course of a year.

The initial phase will focus on outreach and assessment. We will identify the state and federal agencies and public and private stakeholders to collaborate on the Destination Development Roadmap. Hosting regional listening sessions throughout the state, we will catalog tourism assets and identify barriers to development. The goal of this first phase will be the production of a statewide gap analysis of infrastructure and asset development, all while addressing the question “how do we grow New Mexico’s tourism economy in a sustainable way?” By inviting the community to engage and help shape the strategic plan from the beginning, our outcomes will truly be collaborative – and that’s exciting.

By the end of this project, New Mexico will have a comprehensive strategic plan for destination development, capacity-building, funding mechanisms and resource allocation.

By leading the effort to work with stakeholders to identify opportunity for tourism development, we can implement a statewide strategy for economic development that allows for flexibility at the local level. The Tourism Department occupies an ideal space to address both of those goals.

Residents of communities across New Mexico are encouraged to attend a local listening session to provide input that will help shape the Destination Development Roadmap.


More on ABQjournal