Tourism pros love N.M. true campaign

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By Harold Morgan

Thank God for Texans and their money.
Texans help explain the 3.3 percent growth of leisure and hospitality wage jobs over the past year, say hospitality executives.
The situation offers a big, “nnaahhh, so there!” to those who whined about the state Tourism Department choosing an ad agency based in (gasp!) Austin. As in Texas.
Around Taos, Texans are making life economically better, but things have not returned to the peak of 2007.
Silver City gets fewer Californians than in the past, though Alaskans come. Activity is generally fairly good. Bus tours and RV owners are coming back. Along the Turquoise Trail drive north from I-40 to Santa Fe, business is pretty good. New York is one source of visitors.
These impressions come from conversations at the Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held in Albuquerque in early May.
Conference sponsors ranged from the corporately huge to the sort of very small business that seldom generates a headline. ConocoPhillips was the big guy.
A couple of years ago the company decided it should talk to the people around it. Given that tourism people talk to many others, and given that ConocoPhillips is the state’s leading oil and gas producer, talking to tourism people seemed obvious.

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