SANTA FE – The New Mexico Tourism Department (NMTD) is furthering its commitment to destination stewardship with the launch of the Destination Forward program.

NMTD identified 10 tourism-related infrastructure projects intended to enhance the visitor experience at tourism-related amenities, facilities and points-of-interest throughout New Mexico. Each project will be supported through a grant from NMTD that will cover up to $500,000 in expenses. Destination Forward grants will support the renovation, modernization, planning, design and construction of new or existing tourism infrastructure projects.

One of the Destination Forward grants will support a wayfinding and downtown gateway improvement project for the City of Roswell. An improved wayfinding plan was previously identified by the City of Roswell as a strategy that will help create a sense of place and a lasting first impression for visitors who come through Roswell and Southeastern New Mexico. Through Destination Forward, the City of Roswell will receive a $100,000 grant to design and install a series of directional signage, information kiosks, shade structures and other wayfinding devices that match the destination’s brand. Additionally, the grant will also support the design and construction of downtown gateway at the north and south ends of Main Street. These gateways will reinforce the City of Roswell’s unique identity while highlighting feature events and other happenings in the Roswell MainStreet District throughout the year.

“I’m very proud of the work and dedication from the Tourism Department staff and community partners that allowed for us to bring the Destination Forward program to life,” said Acting Tourism Secretary Lancing Adams. “Our research shows us that demand for travel to New Mexico has never been higher. This program will help New Mexico communities better meet that demand so we can continue to deliver high-quality visitor experiences for folks who visit the Land of Enchantment.”

"The Roswell community is extremely grateful to have been awarded the Destination Forward grant for our MainStreet Roswell wayfinding project," said City of Roswell Mayor Pro Tem and City Councilor Cristina Arnold. "This opportunity will assist us in continuing to beautify our downtown area to attract tourists as well as future economic development. MainStreet Roswell, the Southeastern New Mexico Economic Development District/Council of Governments and the City of Roswell will continue to work together to move our amazing community forward."

In 2021, NMTD began to work with all seven Councils of Government to identify tourism-related infrastructure projects in need of investment. Through this work, NMTD identified over 100 tourism-related infrastructure projects for cultural facilities, convention facilities, museums, outdoor recreation, fairgrounds and more. Destination Forward was inspired because of that work.

Below is the complete list of Destination Forward grant recipients for FY24:


Project Description

Grant Funding

City of Bayard

Preservation plan for historic building in Mining District


City of Clovis

Design, develop and install interpretive signage at Hillcrest Park Zoo


City of Farmington

Construction and development of event facilities at Gateway Park


City of Grants

Installation of grandstands at Grants Multipurpose Arena


City of Roswell

Planning and installation of wayfinding and downtown gateway improvements on MainStreet


Curry County

Installation of LED video screen at Curry County Events Center and Fairgrounds


McKinley County

Planning and design of improvements to Red Rock Park RV campground


Northwest Council of Governments

Development plan for tourism assets along Trail of the Ancients Scenic Byway


Sandoval County

Renovation of historic building and meeting space at El Zocalo Plaza


Village of Fort Sumner

Renovations to Billy the Kid gravesite, museum exhibits and gift shop


Destination Forward is the second new grant program NMTD has rolled out in as many years. In FY23, NMTD introduced the Tourism Event Growth & Sustainability Program which provides specialized support to tourism-related events in the form of sponsorship, cooperative advertising, optimization audits and more. After awarding $177,000 in grant funding to 16 tourism-related events in FY23, NMTD more than doubled its investment in this program for FY24. In total, NMTD awarded $460,692 in grant funding to 35 tourism-related events for FY24.

For more information about Destination Forward and other NMTD grant programs, visit