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In July as the state’s forests, along with its tourism season, seemed to be going up in smoke, the industry anxiously awaited a move from Santa Fe to counter bad publicity.
They wondered aloud if Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson had a game plan.
She did. Rather than calling more attention to the fires, she took another approach – the “Catch the Kid” campaign.
Don’t expect the same old thing from Jacobson, a home-grown marketer hired away from Quaker Oats to breathe life into tourism promotion. She grew up in the business – her father’s a hotelier in Taos Ski Valley – and honed her skills out of state. Now she’s back with energy, ideas and infectious enthusiasm.
Recently I watched her seize the attention of a roomful of power players made grumpy by economic news.
By the end of the meeting, everybody was on board, and I could swear they even had a spring in their steps.
Jacobson began with the bad news: New Mexico is 38th in the nation for tourist visitation. Tourists drive through here on their way to other destinations.
The average age of visitors here is above the national average, and their spending is below.
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