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Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 12:13am
LAS CRUCES, N.M. — The word is getting out on the treasures in New Mexico as evidence by an increase in tourism in 2012.
The state tourism department reports an increase in visitors last year compared to 2011.
"It's definitely promising and we think the trend is going to continue," said Philip San Filippo, Executive Director of the Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In Mesilla, the plaza parking lot is occupied by cars from out of state and even some from as far as Canada could be seen Tuesday.
Photographers like Zivi Krieger and Kelsey Tucker from Los Angeles appreciate the rich history and vibrant colors of the Southwest.
The two spent part of the afternoon taking photographs for their blog as they travel throughout the entire state.
"It feels kind of like an unexplored territory and a new frontier in a certain way," said Tucker, of their experience in New Mexico.
The team of photographers said they have visited New Mexico in the past but have focused on the northern part of the state.
San Filippo said there's been definite growth in tourism in the Las Cruces area as well, and now the investments in advertising campaigns statewide are starting to pay off.
"Not only does it bring in jobs and it brings in revenue to the city but it also brings in revenue without putting out a lot of extra money," San Filippo said.
Shops have seen significant foot traffic with people from all over the country.
Marki Martin and Bryan Stover happened to stumble across some of the shops as they make their way from Seattle to Florida.
"I'm shopping for my niece," Martin said. "I get her something from every state and I want to get something that's kind of New Mexicoish."
The Las Cruces Convention And Vistors Bureau will be coordinating their local advertising efforts with the state.
Within the coming months, San Filippo said Las Cruces ads will start appearing with the word "True" which is part of the statewide advertising campaign.