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Governor: NM tourism has $6 billion impact

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Tourism accounted for $6.1 billion in direct spending and supported nearly 89,000 jobs in New Mexico in 2014, according to new numbers released by the state on Tuesday.

The spending figure — which includes expenses like lodging, food, recreation and transportation — rose 4.5 percent from 2013, according to the report from research firm Tourism Economics.

Tourism directly supported 66,809 jobs — an uptick of 1.5 percent from 2013 — according to the report. The number was 88,938 when factoring in indirect employment.

Total spending rises to $8.5 million when indirect and “induced impact” spending are counted.

“Tourism plays a critical role in diversifying our state’s economy. When more people visit New Mexico, more dollars go directly into our communities, and that results in more jobs and better opportunities for our families,” Gov. Susana Martinez said in a news release.

Bernalillo County saw the most visitor spending of any area in New Mexico, accounting for nearly $2 billion of the state total. That includes $485 million for food and beverage and $436 million for transportation, according to the report.

Santa Fe County saw $781 million in visitor spending in 2014.

The report cited 33.3 million visits to New Mexico in 2014. More than half of the visits were day trips (53.5 percent) versus overnight stays.

New Mexicans themselves accounted for approximately 30 percent of the visits the Tourism Department counted in 2014, according to numbers released earlier this year. However, the new report does not outline how much of the $6.1 billion that in-state travel represented. It only breaks down spending by domestic (89.3 percent of the total spending) and international travelers.



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