Updated: January 15, 2021 05:22 PM
Created: January 15, 2021 02:58 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- State officials estimate the New Mexico tourism industry lost $4.3 billion dollars in revenue in 2020.
"These are our neighbors who’ve put their blood sweat and tears into businesses throughout our state, so while we made the sacrifice here in New Mexico and put lives first, we need to remember that there are people who sacrifice a lot of their livelihood," said Tourism Department Sec. Jen Paul Schroer.
Now, the state is hoping to boost the industry by investing in new promotion and marketing, a $25 million special appropriation for the fiscal year 2022 budget.
"That gives us a whole year and a half to be able to utilize those funds, their highest and best use, to stimulate commerce and bring people to New Mexico," Schroer said. "Obviously we’re not going to be doing advertising until it is safe and it's appropriate to do so. However, now is the time to make sure that we have resources and those different strategic mechanisms throughout our state so we can press that go button when it's time."
Imesh Vaidya, CEO of Premier Hospitality, says local business owners are taking advantage of assistance to get by, but he believes the real answer is opening back up.
He also believes the state investment will go a long way.
"We cannot afford to not spend at this point in time," Vaidya said. "If we miss this entire season or this entire year again the consequences will be disastrous."
State officials believe this investment would shorten the recovery timeline to three years. Officials say without that, they believe it could take up to seven years.
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