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Greetings and welcome, earthlings

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Audrey Herrera-Castillo, deputy secretary of the New Mexico Tourism Department, left, meets with City of Roswell staff in the city's new Visitor Center offices, unveiled Thursday morning. Juanita Jennings, director of public affairs, in the middle, and Amber Caley, Visitor Center information specialist, talk a bit with Herrera-Castillo after a ribbon-cutting for the new offices in the historic Conoco Building at the corner of West Fifth and North Main streets. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

The event drew local business and government leaders and also showcased some of the city’s new “New Mexico True” ads to promote the region to visitors.

During the event, Herrera-Castillo announced that New Mexico had experienced a record-setting economic impact of tourism in 2016, its seventh consecutive year of tourism growth.

The tourism industry now brings in $6.4 billion a year to the state.

“The money that visitors spend within our state causes our city fees, taxes, other things to be lower, so it directly impacts us,” said Herrera-Castillo.

“Regardless of where we originate, where we are from, right now we are all New Mexicans, and, as tourism continues to grow in our state, we will all prosper.”