The New Mexico Tourism Department released the results of its 2018 statewide visitation report, highlighted by growth in total trips, marketable trips, overnight trips, and out-of-state trips.

Total Trips

The New Mexico Tourism Department commissioned Longwoods International to conduct the visitation study which estimates 36.6 million total trips were made to New Mexico in 2018. Those 36.6 million total trips represent a 3.4 percent year-over-year increase, and an increase of 22.8 percent since 2010.

Marketable Trips

New Mexico saw an estimated 20.3 million marketable trips in 2018, which represents a 3.0 percent year-over-year increase. Marketable trips are considered trips that are not related to business, business/leisure or to visit family or friends. Marketable trips are the Tourism Department’s primary marketing and promotion focus. An increase in marketable trips indicates positive conversion of the Tourism Department’s marketing strategy.

Marketable overnight trips accounted for 8.4 million of all marketable trips, which represents a 6.6 percent increase from 2017 and a 50 percent increase from 2010.  The average per party spend is higher for marketable overnight trips than for marketable day trips.  Increasing marketable overnight trips increases New Mexico’s economic base.

Overnight Trips

Of those 36.6 million total trips, 16.2 million were overnight trips. New Mexico saw an estimated 500,000 more overnight trips in 2018 compared to 2017, which represents a 3.2 percent increase. Overall, New Mexico saw 2.5 million more overnight trips in 2018 than the state saw in 2010, which represents an 18.2 percent increase. 

New Mexico outpaced the national average in growth of overnight visits by 79 percent in 2018.  While tourism growth has remained strong for New Mexico over the past few years, growth in domestic travel for the U.S. average has remained fairly static.

Out-of-State Overnight Trips

New Mexico saw 13.3 million out-of-state overnight trips in 2018, representing an increase of 900,000 more trips in 2018 compared to 2017. The increase in out-of-state overnight trips also represents a 7.1 percent year-over-year increase, and an increase of 32.8 percent from 2010.

“These positive trends demonstrate the effectiveness of the New Mexico True brand,” said Tourism Secretary Jen Paul Schroer. “Increases in marketable trips and overnight trips demonstrate the strength of the brand and its power to convert prospective travelers into real visits to New Mexico, which means more outside dollars feeding into New Mexico, more jobs, and more revenue for the state.”

Activities and Experiences 

The report also highlighted various categories of visitor activities where New Mexico outperforms the national average. According to the study, during a New Mexico overnight trip, people are participating in specific actives and experiences at a higher frequency than U.S. average overnight trip; these activities and experiences include national/state parks, museums, art galleries, landmarks/historic sites, hiking/backpacking, and visits to tribal communities

Activity and Experience

NM Visit Percent

U.S. Norm Percent

National/State Park



Landmark/Historic Site









Art Galleries



Tribal Communities



“The Tourism Department promises to deliver adventure steeped in cultureto those who visit New Mexico, and our newest visitation numbers indicate people are coming here for experiences and activities that speak to our brand promise,” Secretary Schroer said. “Not only are we improving on our abilities to convert more trips to New Mexico, but we’re seeing more trips include the very experiences that makes New Mexico the premier destination for the venturesome traveler.”

The Tourism Department will be releasing its study on economic impact for 2018 later this year.

View more data here.