New Mexico tourism officials see success with California campaign

New Mexico True sees success with California campaign

Officials are seeing success with its latest push on digital platforms and in airports to bring more tourism dollars into the state.

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico is known worldwide for the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta and, of course, our chile.

But if you live here, you know there’s a lot more to love than just that and it looks like people in places like California are starting to take notice.

The New Mexico Tourism Department focused on advertising in the Los Angeles market back in 2021. Since then, that push spread to other cities, up toward San Francisco and the Bay area.

“Our New Mexico True advertising in airports resonates very strongly and people remember it very well. It’s actually one of our most valuable pieces of advertising that we do,” said Cody Johnson, with the New Mexico Tourism Department.

Those advertisements in the San Francisco area allowed them to enter a market they’ve wanted to be in for years.

“There were a lot of indicators that told us that it would be a very buyable and valuable market for New Mexico. So finally getting the resources to do it was a huge win for New Mexico tourism and our ability to promote our state for leisure travel,” Johnson said.

The resources finally came after last year’s state legislative session. The department launched its first winter campaign in the San Francisco area from October 2023 to February this year. Ads appeared at airports and on digital platforms.

So far, Johnson said that campaign has inspired nearly 20,000 trips to New Mexico.

“Our ROI study shows that the travelers from San Francisco, that attributed their inspiration to New Mexico True advertising, did spend an average of $17,000 during their trip to New Mexico. So that’s valuable dollars that we are bringing in to the state,” Johnson said.

He estimated that created an overall impact of around $34 million. He added that for every dollar spent on advertising, $52 returned to the state.

The department is planning to expand this advertising to other markets.