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Mayor Tim Keller Pledges $1.5 Million in Funding to Boost Hard-Hit Tourism Industry

Promoting Albuquerque as a top destination as nation re-opens

March 23, 2021

Mayor Tim Keller today announced that he will allocate $1.5 million to kick start the post-COVID recovery of Albuquerque’s tourism industry, which has seen a dramatic decline since the onset of the pandemic. The funds will be used for marketing and advertising, putting Albuquerque on the map for the millions of Americans eager to vacation again as the nation’s pandemic restrictions become more conducive to travel.

“Albuquerque has stood out from our peers over the last year as one of the best cities to be during the pandemic. Now we want folks to know we’re one of the best places to visit as restrictions ease up,” Mayor Keller said. “We know how much the tourism industry in Albuquerque has suffered as a result of the pandemic. Helping them get back on their feet will boost the entire local economy and bring jobs for Burqueños back sooner.”

According to the New Mexico Tourism Department, the cumulative loss of visitor spending is estimated to be $3.5 billion, resulting in a loss of approximately $163 million in state and local taxes. That has had a strong negative impact on tourism industry workers, resulting in wage and job losses for thousands.

“Mayor Keller’s quick and comprehensive response to COVID-19 put Albuquerque’s strengths and natural assets in the spotlight,” said Economic Development Director Synthia R. Jaramillo. “As we recover, we’re in a position to infuse growth into the industry, boost tourism, and bring back the jobs and revenue that were lost as a result of the pandemic.”

Mayor Keller has tasked the Lodgers’ Tax Advisory Board with developing an extensive plan for administering the funds, which will also benefit tourism partners like the Albuquerque Convention Center, Visit Albuquerque, and the Greater Albuquerque Hotel and Lodging Association (GAHLA).

This new push for Albuquerque tourism also supports the City’s ABQ Home for Life campaign, which targets remote workers, who can do their jobs from anywhere. Remote workers vacationing in Albuquerque will utilize hotel space for work, and boost the hospitality industry, including restaurants. The ABQ Home for Life campaign is intended to capitalize on trends accelerated by the pandemic – namely, moves away from large cities and from areas prone to natural disasters in favor of lower-risk, mid-sized cities.