Travel trends to take dip over long weekend

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Memorial Day is the traditional start of the summer travel season.  According to the 2012 Garrity Perception Survey, New Mexico residents appear to be taking fewer in-state trips this year than they did last year.  
While 78 percent of New Mexico residents took a leisure trip somewhere in New Mexico during 2011, only 73 percent indicate they plan to travel in-state during 2012.
“This is a sign that New Mexico residents are still impacted by the recession and planning fewer trips in 2012 than they took in 2011,” says The Garrity Group president Tom Garrity.  “The bright spot is seen in the light increase of residents taking at least one to two trips over the next 12 months.  The key for destinations will be reaching the visitors where they live and informing/influencing them to make a specific travel decision.”
According to the survey, the top place New Mexico residents liked to visit in 2011 was Santa Fe (42 percent), followed by Albuquerque (38 percent), Las Cruces (19 percent), Ruidoso (17 percent), Taos (16 percent), Roswell (8 percent) and Farmington/Four Corners (7 percent).
The statewide survey was commissioned by The Garrity Group, an Albuquerque-based public relations firm, and conducted by Research and Polling in February 2012; it has 95 percent level of accuracy.
According to the United States Travel Association’s Travel Powers New Mexico study, the visitor industry generated $5.4 billion in spending, accounted for $769.8 million of tax receipts and supported 55,900 jobs with an annual payroll of $1.1 billion.