After a year of on-and-off restrictions and lockdowns, tourists have started arriving to New Mexico more consistently — and a joint effort by the state and Airbnb is hoping to turn that trickle into a tidal wave.
The State Tourism Department is officially launching a campaign to increase tourism in every part of New Mexico, according to release issued Wednesday. Department spokesman Cody Johnson said the goal of the campaign is to reach new audiences.
“The Tourism Department had to put a pause on all our national advertising,” Johnson said. “It also offered us the time to really kind of explore some creative partnerships.”
The campaign will focus on highlighting tourist attractions in six geographic regions across the state: northwest, north central, northeast, central, southwest and southeast.
Airbnb will be handling the promotional side of the campaign, which will be conducted largely over social media sites, Johnson said. He added the partnership comes at no cost to the department, and aims to help boost the local tourism industry.
In the release, Airbnb said its studies show many Americans are looking for more rural and remote vacation destinations, rather than large urban centers.
“This partnership with Airbnb is a great opportunity to rebuild awareness of New Mexico as a premier destination for leisure travel in a manner that is inclusive of every region of our state,” Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer said in the release.
Short-term rental services, such as Airbnb, have gained a large presence in New Mexico areas with large numbers of tourists, such as Santa Fe, Taos and Ruidoso. Ruidoso alone has more than 1,000 short-term rental units, according to the New Mexico Hospitality Association.
Johnson said the partnership with Airbnb will hopefully attract younger tourists to the state and the idea will be to bring tourists to all parts of New Mexico, not just the traditionally popular spots.
“We really try to make sure that we spread the love and that all of New Mexico is recognized,” he said.