Grant Purpose, Goals and Objectives:

Applications For This Grant Are Now Closed

When applying for the Destination Forward Grant, you will be evaluated based on your project’s ability to address and align with the program’s purpose, goals and objectives. You do not have to address every goal and objective, but you are encouraged to address as many goals and objectives as feasible for your project.

The DFG focuses on funding tourism infrastructure, assets and experiences that help build resilient, vibrant communities and that align with the New Mexico True Brand promise of “adventure steeped in culture.” Grantees are expected to deliver on the brand promise and include New Mexico True in all design standards, logo, materials and site improvements.

The DFG will award projects that especially convey strong community-based leadership and benefits that support local tourism business revenue growth as well as enhance health and well-being. The tourist and resident experience should be of high-quality.

The DFG aims to deliver on sustainability by focusing on an evidence-based approach to development. The DFG aims to give New Mexico and its various tourism projects and destinations more national and global relevance in sustainable tourism development and management.

The DFG will consider applicants to be more competitive by meeting our goals of improving local communities’ socio-economy and culture as well as the local environment.

The DFG aims to adhere to its commitments to communities and the environment by delivering on five main goals and their objectives:

  1. Increase visitation
    • Increase sustainable visitation rates.
    • Increase repeat stays.
    • Increase extended stays.
    • Increase visitor spending at the destination.
    • Bring a visitor experience or service to market readiness.


  1. Improve or enhance the visitor and resident experience
    • Increase positive reviews from tourists.
    • Increase positive reviews from residents and enhance community’s quality of life via tourism (re)development.
    • Increase accessibility for residents and tourists.
    • Provide visitor-oriented services that are open for use to the public and not limited to private membership.
    • Ensure resident support for tourism development through collaboration.
    • Ensure cultural respect and sensitivity in tourism development.
    • Ensure high quality, diversity and authenticity of interpretation to tourists.
    • Support legacy opportunities, including the enhancement of existing tourism infrastructure or new construction e.g. visitor facilities and attractions.


  1. Spur economic growth and capacity opportunities for residents
    • Increase capacity building efforts in tourism development at the destination.
    • Create tourism-related jobs.
    • Diversify the local tourism economy.
    • Expand the creative economy.


  1. Increase national and global recognition of New Mexico as a Sustainable Tourism destination
    • Aid in destination recovery, emergency preparedness and resiliency.
    • Diversify the wider, local economy.
    • Support a thriving tourism economy.
    • Increase visitor experience and/or services within a community or region.
    • Foster sustainable tourism development that ensures a balance between economic, social, cultural and environmental values.
    • Measure, monitor and/or assess tourism impacts and risks at the destination level across economic, social, cultural and environmental assets.
    • Increase the competitiveness of New Mexican visitor experiences and services as well as exposure of New Mexican communities, as desired by the communities.
    • Spur private sector investment in new and enhanced visitor experiences and services state-wide.
    • Create sustainable tourism jobs and economic activity in communities state-wide.


  1. Increase positive impacts on the local environment while decreasing negative impacts **(projects that aim to address Goal 5 objectives MUST also address at least one other goal and its objectives in the DFG application.)**
    • Utilize green, ethically, responsibly and sustainably sourced goods, materials and labor for tourism (re)development.
    • Rehabilitate, restore, rewild and/or revegetate any disturbed areas caused by the tourism infrastructure project with local, native species.
    • Ensure minimal disturbance to local, native wildlife and flora/habitat in tourism (re)development.
    • Engage with local and Indigenous experts as well as other relevant experts and community stakeholders in the safeguarding of local biodiversity throughout the project’s development and management.

The resources below provide a comprehensive overview of the Grant and the application process. Please review these materials carefully prior to applying.

Grant Guidelines

FY24 Grant Guidelines. - FY24 Destination Forward Grant Guidelines

Grant Application

FY24 Destination Forward Grant Online Application - The application process may be completed at

Applications For This Grant Are Now Closed

The application process for the Grant consists of an application complete with required documentation uploads based on the tier and track to which you are applying

A preview of the main application content is available below to help applicants plan as they go through the application process:

Each submitted application is assessed by a review panel with careful consideration of project eligibility, relevance, organizational capacity, sustainability, need and feasibility.