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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Convention offers ideas, strategies to attract tourists

ROSWELL - With tourism generating $5 billion a year for the economy, attracting visitors is big business in New Mexico -- and not just in the traditional hotspots. Tourism is an important part of the economy across the state, including Southeastern New Mexico.

st ever Tourism Showcase for Southeastern New Mexico March 28-29 will help businesses and attractions stay up-to-date. Tourism-related businesses such as hotels, restaurants, bed and breakfasts, museums and local attractions are encouraged to attend the event, at the Roswell Convention and Visitors Center.

"Tourism is the lifeblood of many rural communities in New Mexico," said George Pintar, program coordinator for New Mexico State University's Rural Economic Development Through Tourism project, a sponsor of the event. "The competition for tourist dollars is fierce. Learning how to compete for those dollars is the main focus of the Tourism Showcase."

The event will feature numerous booths that display the best features of their businesses or attractions. Workshops will be held on topics such as "New Ideas in Marketing," "Developing a Successful Agricultural and Rural Tourism Industry," "Hospitality in Your Town" and "How To Attract Motorcoach and Group Tours."

World renowned tourism expert Dr. Peter Tarlow will conduct several workshops. Also, Tarlow will be the featured speaker at the evening banquet. His topic will be "Tourism's Big Picture: Learning How All Its Parts Fit and Work Together."

Roger Burnett, president of the Chaves County Tourism Council, said the Tourism Showcase will have vital information and contacts. The $30 registration fee covers lunch, dinner and booth space. Call (505) 624-6860 or (505) 622-8333 to make reservations.

The 2006 Tourism Showcase also is sponsored by the Chaves County Tourism Council, Roswell Chamber of Commerce, Hispano Chamber of Commerce, City of Roswell Parks and Recreation, and New Mexico Parks and Recreation.

The event was partially sponsored by the REDTT project, which is guided by REDTT councils in 17 counties in a collaborative effort that creates a significant amount of tourist-generated economic development for some of the state's smaller communities. REDTT is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Darrell J. Pehr
Feb. 28, 2006