ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Tourism continues to be a bright spot in New Mexico's otherwise struggling economy.
Gov. Susana Martinez announced Monday that while the number of visitors grew by less than 1 percent last year, overall spending by tourists increased by 7 percent in 2013.
That translates to roughly $300 million in new revenue taken in by communities throughout the state. As a result of this growth, the governor said, the leisure and hospitality industry was able to create 1,700 new jobs last year, with an additional 700 new jobs already created between January and May of 2014.
"Tourism is a strong economic driver and a critical component of the diverse economy we are working to create in communities throughout New Mexico," Martinez said in a statement.
Tourism "leads to new jobs and growth in cities, towns, and villages throughout the state," her statement read.
Martinez and Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson say the increases represent the third consecutive year of tourism growth in New Mexico, and the second consecutive year of record-breaking tourism growth.
Overall visitor spending has grown more than 24 percent since 2010. Over that time period, officials say, an additional 2.4 million visitors came to New Mexico, with a record 32.2 million people traveling to New Mexico last year alone.