New Mexico’s tourism industry sees all-time record spending
Nearly half of record $8 billion spent in rural communities
In an outstanding display of New Mexico’s growing appeal as a tourist destination, the state set a new record for direct visitor spending. A comprehensive study conducted by the New Mexico Tourism Department revealed that the state recorded an unprecedented $8.3 billion in direct visitor spending in 2022, marking a substantial increase of $1.1 billion compared to 2021. This achievement exceeds the previous all-time high set in 2019 at $7.4 billion.
“New Mexico’s record-breaking tourism success in 2022 is a testament to the incredible allure of our diverse landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality,” said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “The numbers bear out what New Mexicans already know: there is truly no place in the world like our beautiful state. We will continue to invest in and promote the Land of Enchantment, ensuring that New Mexico remains a top destination for travelers while also benefiting local residents and businesses.”
In addition to the economic impact, tourism in 2022 also had a significant influence on job creation. An estimated 70,433 jobs were sustained by visitor spending, surpassing the 2021 figures by over 7,000 jobs.
The positive impact extended to state and local taxes, as visitor spending generated $782 million in 2022. This represented a 10 percent increase from 2021 and significantly contributed to offsetting the tax burden on New Mexican households, reducing it by an average of $981 per household.
The study also found a staggering $11.2 billion in total economic impact from tourism in 2022. This total encompasses not only direct visitor spending but also indirect and induced impacts, including household consumption, the supply chain, and business-to-business transactions.
Key findings from the report highlight the various sectors benefiting from this tourism boom, including:
- Visitors spent $2.7 billion on lodging, constituting 32 percent of all visitor spending in 2022, and marking a 13 percent increase over the previous record set in 2019.
- A total of $1.9 billion was spent on food and beverage, representing 23 percent of all visitor spending in 2022, and an 11 percent increase over the previous record set in 2019.
According to the report, roughly 48 percent of all visitor spending occurred in rural communities, equating to $4 billion in direct visitor spending and $349 million in state and local taxes.
Earlier this year, NMTD published its annual visitor volume report, which highlighted a record 40.8 million trips to New Mexico in 2022. Of those trips, 16.7 million were overnight trips. Business trips represented 9 percent of all trips in 2022, which was a total almost double that of 2021.
The full Tourism Economic Impact Report for 2022 can be viewed on the NMTD website.