An old marketing rule is that if the organization has a marketing problem, or perhaps an image problem, the problem should be attacked rather than being allowed to continue causing damage.
For our tourism businesses, the perception is that low wages somehow make the industry less worthy. Major contributions to the view come from an urban snootiness grounded in the “high wage, high tech” mantra mostly useful to Albuquerque and Santa Fe with some value in Las Cruces.
To be sure, entry-level jobs — the busers in restaurants, housekeepers in hotels—start low. One has to start somewhere. My first job was as a janitor. At least the people in these entry jobs are in the labor force, working, unlike bunches of New Mexicans.
To start a Nov. 20 summary budget presentation to the Legislative Finance Committee in Santa Fe, Secretary Monique Jacobson, of the Department of Tourism, stepped up to the issue. Nationally, she said, 20 percent of workers starting in the travel industry eventually earn $100,000 annually.
Jacobson came well equipped to bolster her main request that another $2.5 million be added to her advertising budget.