KOB Web Staff & Nathan O'Neal
Updated: November 02, 2020 07:41 PM
Created: November 02, 2020 10:44 AM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham proposed a $25 million stimulus package for the New Mexico tourism industry Monday. The stimulus aims to shorten the recovery timeline.
“In both rural and urban communities, tourism offers entrepreneurs a path to create opportunity for their families and offers communities of all sizes a reliable building block for their own economic recovery strategy,” said Gov. Lujan Grisham. “This economic stimulus package for the tourism industry will expedite our state’s efforts to diversify our economy and get back on track."
Tourism is the second-largest industry in the state. Based on estimations from the U.S. Travel Association and Tourism Economics, it may take up to seven years for the industry to return to pre-COVID levels of travel spending without any substantial recovery assistance.
“Post COVID-19, there will be an influx of destination marketing organizations all vying for the same set of consumers to restore travel,” said Tourism Cabinet Secretary Jen Paul Schroer. “New Mexico has a strategic advantage coming out of COVID-19 due to its strong outdoor recreation assets and abundance of open spaces. However, this advantage cannot be realized if New Mexico is not competitive with other states actively investing stimulus funds for tourism promotion.”
The pandemic has created widespread disruption to the industry. According to the governor's office, the total projected cost to the state this year is an estimated $4.3 billion — that's lost vistor spending, lost state and local taxes, and paid-out unemployment benefits.
The stimulus package will be proposed as a special appropriation for the Tourism Department during the 2021 legislative session.
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