NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – New Mexico’s Tourism Department is reporting record level of visits and visitor spending from 2022. The department says tourists (including New Mexicans visiting other parts of New Mexico) directly spent $8.3 billion in the state.

“The news of New Mexico’s record visitor spending in 2022 further demonstrates the resilience of tourism and its potential as a tool for economic diversification,” Acting Tourism Secretary Lancing Adams said in a press release. “As a state, we must continue to include tourism in strategies for economic development, workforce training, and infrastructure investments so New Mexico can continue to prosper.”

The tourism department cites numbers from the marketing research company Longwoods International. Their 2022 report shows there were about 16.7 million overnight trips to New Mexico that year and over 24 million day trips.

Overnight visitors spent an average of $315 per person per trip, the report shows. That’s an increase of $33 over last year.

The most common reason for overnight leisure travel to New Mexico was to visit friends or relatives (32% of leisure visits). Touring trips made up about one-fifth of leisure trips and outdoor visits made up 9% of leisure trips.

The numbers show that Texas was the largest supplier of overnight visitors, supplying 18% of visits. California was next, supplying 9% of overnight visitors. New Mexicans visiting other parts of New Mexico made up 17% of overnight visitors.