Tourism Development

Tourism Development

The New Mexico Tourism Department (NMTD) has allocated funding for investment in the creation or expansion of tourism projects that align with the New Mexico True brand’s promise to deliver “adventure steeped in culture.”

Tourism Development Grant Guidelines

The purpose of this program is to provide financial assistance in the development of new or expanded tourism initiatives that will lead to increased economic impact in New Mexico. Projects funded through this grant program will be given preference for future funding opportunities to market and promote the completed project.

The Tourism Development Grant Program provides matching dollars (1:1) to New Mexico counties and municipalities, tribal governments, or IRS designated non-profit organizations that can demonstrate their project’s ability to enhance the visitor experience and increase the potential for economic impact in the state of New Mexico. Qualifying entities may apply for funding between $10,000 and $50,000.
Projects should be:

  • Visitor centered, focused on enhancing the visitor experience
  • Sustainable
  • Aligned with the New Mexico True brand’s promise to deliver “adventure steeped in culture.”
  • Able to be completed by June 1, 2017

Preference will be given to projects that incorporate elements of “tangible tourism” and are focused in one or more of the following areas:

  • Arts & Artisans
  • Cultural Heritage
  • Cuisine
  • Outdoor Recreation

Preference will also be given to projects able to demonstrate the ability to leverage multiple funding sources. 


All awarded funding must be expended by June 1, 2017.

Projects unable to reach total completion by June 1, 2017 may apply for funding by restructuring the scope of work into multiple phases.

Awards granted to a particular phase of a project do not guarantee an award for a future phase of that project.


1:1 match is required (for every $1 you are awarded, you must be able to match with $1 supplied by your organization or a supporting organization). Matching contributions may come from private-sector partners and must be cash. In-kind donations or volunteer hours are not eligible as a match.


Any New Mexico county, municipality, tribal government, or IRS designated non-profit organization is eligible to submit a proposal. Supporting organizations or partners for a particular project are not limited to these organization types and may include for-profit, private companies and other sources of support.


Proposals that clearly demonstrate their project’s ability to enhance the visitor experience through sustainable product development may be eligible to receive funding.

Examples of Eligible Proposals:

  • Digital infrastructure design and creation, such as mobile technology that will enhance the visitor experience
  • Structural renovation or expansion aimed at providing a tangible tourism experience (teaching studio, artist space, cooking classes, etc.)
  • Recreation area improvement such as development and signage (if project is on government property applicant must demonstrate proof of applicable environmental and other permits)
  • Way finding signage throughout communities or regions for the purpose of improving the visitor experience
  • Execution of a special event that demonstrates a new or expanded visitor experience (proposals will not be considered for special events less than three years old) 


Proposals that do not emphasize their project’s ability to increase economic impact, enhance the visitor experience, prove sustainability, are not aligned with the NM True brand promise, or cannot be completed by June 1, 2017 will be deemed ineligible.

Proposals focused on marketing or beautification initiatives will not be considered for funding through this grant program, but may be eligible for funding through other NMTD programs.

Ineligible expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Advertising/marketing expenses (production, placement, booth space, fulfillment, design, commissions or fees)
  • Public relations/media communications/FAM tours (media events)
  • Strategic planning and research
  • Promotional items or items for resale
  • Lobbying
  • Office Supplies
  • Educational conferences, advocacy program and membership dues
  • Travel expenses
  • Employee or contractor salaries, personnel costs
  • Food or Alcoholic beverages, or other non approved expenditures


Proposals will be evaluated on their own merit based on the following criteria:

  • Required Supporting Documents
    • Letters of support and financial commitments
    • Cost estimate (quotes for labor, construction, and supplies)
    • Detailed project budget
  • Project Description
  • Community or Regional Support and Impact
  • Project Budget and Feasibility
  • Alignment with the New Mexico True Brand Promise
  • Measurement and Sustainability


Following the notification of award, the recipient will enter into a grant agreement with NMTD whereas the recipient guarantees all funds will be expended and final report submitted by June 1, 2017. The grant agreement will outline, among other pertinent details, a project scope of work, budget, timeline, duties and expectations of each party, penalties for non-performance, and final report requirements.


Awarded organizations will receive 25% of grant funds following the execution of grant agreement and submitting a scope of work and action plan, and 75% as reimbursement upon project completion and submission of final reports.


In order to receive reimbursement for an awarded project, applicants must submit a Final Report including a descriptive narrative for use of funds and final impact assessment, as well as a detailed fiscal report as outlined within the final agreement. 


Proposals will be accepted on a “rolling timeline” between January 12, 2017 and May 1, 2017, or until all of the allocated funding has been awarded, whichever comes first.

The below timeline allows for adequate planning. Dates relevant to each awarded proposal will be outlined in the grant agreement.

  • Guidelines posted at December 22, 2017
  • Webinar offered January 6, 2017 (details at
  • Proposals accepted January 12, 2017 through May 1, 2017
  • Final reports and request for reimbursement due June 1, 2017


Applicants may use the following checklist to ensure they’re prepared and able to complete the proposal before submitting.

☐  Review Tourism Development Grant Program Guidelines

☐  Attend or view webinar

☐  Download and submit required Think Sheet (details provided in webinar)

☐  Receive feedback from NMTD staff

☐  Submit proposal

All proposals must be submitted via the designated website and online process; incomplete and paper proposals will not be considered.


Should you require assistance throughout the grant proposal process, please contact Suzy Lawrence, Tourism Development Program Coordinator & Tribal Liaison at 505-795-0343,