Ad invites Texans to visit New Mexico despite travel restrictions

Coronavirus New Mexico

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The governor put new travel restrictions in place in New Mexico last week but one New Mexico hospitality campaign is still advertising to people from out of state to consider visiting the Land of Enchantment. The New Mexico Safe Promise campaign run by the New Mexico Hospitality Association just published an ad in the Dallas Morning News last Friday stating they miss their Texas neighbors and if they visit New Mexico to review the latest visitor guidelines and to wear a mask. 

“I don’t know if I would necessarily say the letter explicitly invites people, so much as it acknowledges that travel is a challenge right now considering the region and the nation and the state of things with the pandemic,” said Cody Johnson with the New Mexico Tourism Department.  

Johnson said the tourism department supports the message and the New Mexico Safe Promise campaign that launched last month, which encourages the hospitality and tourism industries to do their part to stop the spread of coronavirus by wearing masks and social distancing.  

The tourism department said not only was the ad featured in Dallas it has also made its way to other cities in Texas like Houston, and San Antonio as well as places in Arizona like Phoenix and Tucson. Johnson acknowledges the ad doesn’t explicitly state the governor’s 14-day quarantine order if you enter the state, but still believes it’s an important message. 

“So really not necessarily referencing the 14-day quarantine but just referencing a travel quarantine really might actually help residents and residents in New Mexico, residents of our surrounding states, understand that there are travel restrictions in place that might look different in the future,” said Johnson.   

Johnson said summer is usually their busiest time of year but with the pandemic, the tourism industry has been down. However, the July 4th holiday weekend saw plenty of Texas visitors violating the health order by not quarantining as they entered Elephant Butte Lake.

Johnson said the department paused their out of state advertisements back in March. KRQE News 13 reached out to organizers with the New Mexico Promise campaign but were told no one was available to do an interview on Monday. 

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