Visit Albuquerque looks to the future - Albuquerque Journal

Visit Albuquerque looks to the future

The Sandia Peak Tramway pictured in 2015. (Roberto E. Rosales/Journal)

Albuquerque’s hard-hit tourism industry is hopeful about a significant bounce-back in 2021, but a full recovery may still be years away.

During Visit Albuquerque’s annual meeting Tuesday, held via Zoom, organization president Tania Armenta provided an update on the challenges the city’s tourism industry has faced in 2020, as well as a potential path to recovery in 2021 and beyond.

During the meeting, Armenta said travel spending nationwide is expected to spike next year after dropping 44% in 2020 due to the pandemic and other restrictions, though some experts believe it may not fully recover until 2024. The key, Armenta said, is making sure Albuquerque is well-positioned to compete for business that was postponed due to the pandemic.

“We want to make sure we have Albuquerque out there in the forefront,” she said.

Prior to 2020, Albuquerque’s tourism industry was humming. In 2019, Albuquerque ranked in the top 10 markets for occupancy and revenue growth for hotels. But industries were affected more by the pandemic and associated restrictions. Armenta said New Mexico air travel, as measured by volume at airport checkpoints, declined 78% year-over-year in July – among the worst drops of any state over that time period.

As of August, employment in Albuquerque’s leisure and hospitality sector – which includes tourism – had lost 11,300 jobs year-over-year, nearly 25% of the total leisure and hospitality jobs in the city.

“Almost everyone on this call knows someone who has been affected by a layoff or a furlough,” Armenta said.

With interstate travel limited, Visit Albuquerque focused over the summer on encouraging New Mexicans to have staycations instead. The organization put together a series of banner ads asking locals to rediscover local attractions like the Sandia Peak Tramway.

“The idea is to really encourage people to be a visitor in their own city,” Armenta said

After restrictions began to ease in September, Armenta said the organization began to expand its focus to neighboring states with a series of ads on travel websites like Expedia and Travelocity.

At the meeting, Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller said the pandemic could ultimately leave Albuquerque’s tourism industry in a more competitive position. He said the city’s COVID-19 infection rate – low compared to cities like Denver and Phoenix – combined with existing benefits like a lower cost of living. could help the city attract visitors if the virus lingers.

“I think, interestingly, there is a very, very compelling path for Albuquerque,” Keller said.

Armenta said the tourism industry is unlikely to fully recover in 2021, but said she’s encouraged by surveys showing about half of travelers feel comfortable traveling outside their communities.

With many conventions and other events being rescheduled for 2021, Armenta said the city will have to compete against peer cities to return to normal.

“The path to recovery is not going to be a straight line,” Armenta said.

 

Home » Business » Most Recent Biz News » Visit Albuquerque looks to the future


Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

1
APD detectives investigating after 2 found dead overnight
ABQnews Seeker
Two people were killed and a ... Two people were killed and a third person was injured early Wednesday morning in what police initially called a single-vehicle crash but later said ...
2
Rockets away in New Mexico
ABQnews Seeker
Teams from around the globe gather ... Teams from around the globe gather to compete in the Spaceport America Cup
3
One of ABQ’s newest speed cameras stolen off its ...
ABQnews Seeker
Just over two weeks after the ... Just over two weeks after the city's mobile speed enforcement device on Lead at Cornell started issuing tickets, vandals removed the camera box
4
SFNF firewood permits available
ABQnews Seeker
The permits, which expire Dec. 31, ... The permits, which expire Dec. 31, apply to the entire forest, except designated wilderness areas
5
Man fatally shot on East Central
ABQnews Seeker
A man was shot to death ... A man was shot to death Tuesday night in Southeast Albuquerque. The incident marked the fifth homicide in the city in the past six ...
6
Four charged in 2020 ABQ homicide
ABQnews Seeker
Suspects arrested on a variety of ... Suspects arrested on a variety of charges, including murder and arson
7
Teen charged in shooting threat at Edgewood school
ABQnews Seeker
A 17-year-old allegedly threatened to shoot ... A 17-year-old allegedly threatened to shoot up a school earlier this month in Edgewood. State Police spokeswoman Candace Hopkins said Emma Haviland, of Edgewood, ...
8
Top New Mexico elections regulator says she was threatened
ABQnews Seeker
New Mexico's top elections regulator says ... New Mexico's top elections regulator says she received threats to her safety via an email and telephone calls to her offices and that the ...
9
Albuquerque redistricting committee to take final vote
ABQnews Seeker
City Council undergoes realignment after each ... City Council undergoes realignment after each census