Opinion

Tourism, economic development go hand in hand

By Chris Stagg
Posted 1/31/20

Business is growing in Taos, and we anticipate it will get better. Last year, Taos launched Taos Air with service from Austin and Dallas. The reception was gratifying, so we recently added service to and from San Diego County and Los Angeles. This spring, Taos is host to the World Pro Ski Tour World Championships. People come to visit Taos for many reasons, from events and music to authentic Northern New Mexico experiences and the outdoors - and inevitably, many choose to purchase a home, retire, start or expand a business or work remotely from the Land of Enchantment.

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Opinion

Tourism, economic development go hand in hand

Posted

Business is growing in Taos, and we anticipate it will get better. Last year, Taos launched Taos Air with service from Austin and Dallas. The reception was gratifying, so we recently added service to and from San Diego County and Los Angeles. This spring, Taos is host to the World Pro Ski Tour World Championships. People come to visit Taos for many reasons, from events and music to authentic Northern New Mexico experiences and the outdoors - and inevitably, many choose to purchase a home, retire, start or expand a business or work remotely from the Land of Enchantment.

What many residents don't realize is that tourism and economic development work hand in hand. As the state's tourism has continued experiencing record numbers, so has economic development.

In 2018, visitors spent $7.1 billion in New Mexico. We can thank destination promotion for this success and for putting New Mexico on the map. The "New Mexico True" messaging has resonated with travelers from across the nation and is continuing to bring first-time and repeat visitors to New Mexico.

This past year, the Economic Development Department announced the largest percentage of job growth in New Mexico since the prerecession time of 2005.

Cities throughout the state are seeing economic growth, increased lodgers tax and, importantly, economic development opportunities. As business owners and as residents, we should celebrate these successes and do everything we can to ensure long-term growth and investment in tourism.

With continued promotion of New Mexico as a destination, we can entice business leaders to visit and potentially relocate here. As we grow the tourism industry and increase the number of visitors each year, our state will attract new businesses and grow existing business, as well as bring in higher paying jobs and more opportunities for residents and their families. That creates the potential for more local talent to stay in state and seek career opportunities as opposed to moving out of New Mexico, just as it creates the potential to bring in new residents and experience even greater economic success as a state.

The solution is simple: increased investment in destination promotion. Destination promotion works, and businesses and residents are seeing the benefits of successful promotion statewide. However, we must continue the efforts to maintain this momentum. With New Mexico pride on the rise from residents, as well as with the love and passion for the Land of Enchantment growing among visitors, now is the time to invest more by promoting our state and our future economic development.

Chris Stagg lives and works in Taos Ski Valley.

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