Gov. Susana Martinez announced Wednesday that 34.4 million trips were taken to New Mexico in 2016, beating the previous record set in 2015 of 33.4 million.
“A record number of people are visiting New Mexico, and that means more money being spent in our communities, large and small,” said Martinez while in Albuquerque during her first day of a three-day press jaunt through the state to talk about tourism. She is scheduled to be in Roswell 10 a.m. Friday at the Roswell Museum and Art Center.
“It is so exciting that more people than ever before are getting to experience what we already know: New Mexico is the best place in the world to enjoy natural beauty, vibrant culture and, of course, our incredible food,” she said.
New Mexico is a leader in the nation in tourism, according to a New Mexico Tourism Department news release, with trips in the state growing at double the national average.
Overall, trips to New Mexico have grown 15.4 percent since 2010. In addition, 2016 is the largest single-year increase in visitation since 2012, when the state introduced the New Mexico True marketing concept.
“New Mexico True brings attention to what is ‘true’ about our state’s vibrant culture and heritage, the things that set us apart from every other state in the country,” Tourism Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Latham said. “Through the use of breathtaking imagery and stunning videography, we’re able to showcase the experiences that consumers are hungry for, opening their eyes to New Mexico as the best destination for culinary travel, outdoor adventure and abundant cultural opportunities.
The tourism industry added 2,600 leisure and hospitality jobs in 2016, a 2.8 percent increase since last year and an 8.6 percent increase since 2010, the news release indicated.