ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Tourism was up nearly 5 percent in New Mexico last year, marking a shift in momentum that is creating new jobs and pumping millions of new dollars into the economy, officials announced Monday.
At a press conference with tourism officials from around the state, Gov. Susana Martinez reported 31.2 million people visited the state in 2011, a 4.7 increase over 2010. And the number of people who were making the state their primary destination was up 12.4 percent.
Travelers spent $5.5 billion, compared to $5.2 billion in 2010, generating $1.2 billion in state revenue, according to an annual survey from Longwoods International, a leading hospitality research firm.
"Tourism has an enormous impact on all of New Mexico's communities, both large and small," Martinez said in a statement. "We're committed to getting the message out to visitors from around the world about all of the beautiful scenery, historic landmarks, incredible adventures, and unique attractions that New Mexico has to offer."
The increase in tourism has resulted in about 2,000 new jobs in the leisure and hospitality industries, the governor said, noting that 1 in 12 New Mexico jobs are now directly related to tourism.