July 5, 2011 at 2:53 PM
By Polly White
Santa Fe Business Musings
Polly White is a local business owner, active community member and astronomy geek.
What’s the algorithm for projecting tourism in Santa Fe this Year? Well, it’s complicated.
Here’s one statistic to keep tourism in perspective for all of us: In the Santa Fe area, there are approximately 85,000 residents and each year we welcome between one and two million visitors.
Here are the top variables going into this algorithm.
My musings include what I think, balanced by what I know:
Gas prices: I think they will be relatively stable this summer. I know that as of today it is $3.39/gallon.
Net effect on tourism for 2011 ~ will increase tourism 0.5%
Conchas and Pacheco fires: I think the arrival of monsoons will take everyone’s stress level down. I know we got some bad national press with scare-mongerring articles about (non-existent) radioactive smoke.
Net effect on tourism for 2011 ~ will decrease tourism 1.0% in the short run this summer
New Convention Center: I think it was a wise investment and that the word is finally getting out to the rest of the country that it’s here. I know it’s beautiful and it’s ready to support almost any size conference/convention.
Net effect on tourism for 2011 ~ will increase tourism 1.5%
Trends: I think that we are seeing a wide turn toward increasing numbers of tourists in our City Different. I know the economy has caused a decline in tourism rates for the last three years. But I also know that Burke Denman, of Denman & Associates and Santa Fe Stone, was one of three local business owners have told me personally that this spring has shown higher than expected sales of high-end, durable items.
Net effect on tourism for 2011 ~ will increase tourism 1.0%
Last-minute decisions: I think there will be a late surge of tourists showing up with last-minute reservations in the fall and winter this year. I know that we’re ready to be the welcoming and Different City that they expect to find whenever they decide to get here.
Net effect on tourism for 2011 ~ will increase tourism 0.5% compensating for the effect of the fires
So, my fellow business watchers, I predict a net increase of 2.5% of tourism-related sales over last year. Watch your bottom lines and let me know. If I’m right, I get ice cream.
Maybe some entrepreneur will start fire tours that will be as famous as the Santa Fe ghost walks…..