State Fair, 50th Balloon Fiesta expected to boost tourism

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — New Mexico is a tourist hot spot with different cultures, unique food, and outdoor activities that draw visitors from all over the world to visit. 

For Albuquerque, tourism brings in a lot of money to the city. However, when the pandemic hit, Albuquerque saw up to an 80% loss of visitation.

“Prior to the pandemic, tourism was a $2 billion industry for Albuquerque,” Tania Armenta, CEO and president of Visit Albuquerque, said. 

The tourism department saw it as an opportunity. During the pandemic, Visit Albuquerque spent additional marketing money to try and bring more tourists into the Duke City.

They focused on a different audience – drivers – since most folks were hitting the road.

“That’s new money coming into the community,” said Armenta. 

Next month, Albuquerque will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Balloon Fiesta and this week the New Mexico State Fair opened up for the first time in two years without any COVID-19 restrictions.

Similar to many places, Albuquerque is looking to financially recover this fall as they head into one of its most lucrative times of the year.

“We have seen some really strong performance over the last year. we’re really looking forward to carrying that into the fall with so many great events like the State Fair, with Globalquerque, with the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta,” Armenta said. “It’s just a great opportunity to welcome so many visitors to our city and state.”