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Tourism and how we all need to act

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By Ralph Damiani

Gov. Richardson kicked off a state conference on tourism saying New Mexico needs to work with neighboring states to attract international visitors to the Southwest as well as increase its efforts to lure film crews to rural parts of the state.

True enough. But it seems that we need to do a lot more here to make this “business” pay off more.

Last year, tourism brought about 12 million visitors and an estimated $5.5 billion in revenue to the state. That money supports thousands of jobs and the associated tax revenue from tourism exceeded $351 million.

Big money and a lot of jobs.

Tourism – along with the oil and gas industry – makes up the backbone of New Mexico’s economy.

True enough. But are we really doing what we need to, do a better job of putting our best foot forward?

We have some instant sells, like Santa Fe’s reputation and Roswell’s aliens. But there is more here and we either do not do a good job of getting the word out or we don’t care to.

The annual conference will focus on working with the film industry and increasing ecotourism.


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