This represents a 3.2 percent increase over 2016, or USD200 million more, and equates to nearly USD753,000 spent by visitors to New Mexico every hour in 2017.
“Tourism is a key economic driver in New Mexico,” Martinez said. “The more people visiting our beautiful state, the more dollars go into our communities. This means more jobs and better opportunities for New Mexican families.”
The three largest sectors for visitor spending in 2017 were lodging at 31 percent, food and beverage at 23 percent, and retail at 17 percent. Recreation saw noticeable growth with a 3.2 percent increase in visitor spending, making it the fourth largest sector at 13 percent. On average, each overnight visitor spent USD312 per trip with leisure travel still the primary reason for travel in New Mexico.
Visitor spending in 2017 generated USD662 million in state and local taxes. Since 2010, direct visitor spending in New Mexico has grown by USD1.4 billion, with associated job growth increasing by more than 6500. In 2017, visitor spending sustained nearly 94,000 New Mexican jobs, or 1 in 12 nearly four times the total enrolment of the University of New Mexico.