New Mexico Tourist Numbers Fudged
SANTA FE – A new report claims that statistics announced by the New Mexico True campaign claiming an increase of visitors to the state are “untrue”. The visit gain made in New Mexico largely reflects local populations traveling around their neighborhoods and other parts of the state, visiting sites, attractions, and their friends and families, and not visitors from out of state.
This report indicates that tourism numbers released in June by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and Tourism Secretary Rebecca Latham may overstate the impact of the New Mexico True advertising campaign on drawing out of state tourists. 30 percent of all visits to sites in New Mexico were made by New Mexicans traveling around the state. The survey was made by Longwoods International, a company collecting travel data based on regular travel surveys.
Defending the released statistics Latham says that the New Mexico True campaign is working because it gets New Mexicans to explore their own state and keeps money in New Mexico that might otherwise flow out of state. Promoting in-state travel has been a priority of the Tourism Department, she said. She added that enthusiasm for New Mexico within the state’s borders could potentially pay off if residents convince others to come here.
As further evidence of the success of the campaign she claims that there has been a 5.1 percent increase of people visiting their friends and families within the state.