Mexican tourists who have a Laser Visa Border Crossing Card can now travel to the Southern New Mexico cities of Las Cruces, Mesilla, Deming and Lordsburg, thanks to the new 55 Mile Rule which went into effect on July 12. Prior to the new rule, visitors from Mexico could only travel 25 miles into New Mexico, putting these towns off limits.
New Mexico State University's Arrowhead Center analyzed the economic impact of the new rule and concluded that the state could see up to $51 million in additional spending in the next year, up to 340 new jobs created, and up to $2.57 million going to the tax base of local communities.
"This border zone extension complements our strategic efforts to develop the economy along our southern border," said Governor Susana Martinez. "Each side benefits from growing trade and development on both sides of the border. I'm pleased to welcome visitors from Mexico and encourage them to experience more of what the Land of Enchantment has to offer."
The New Mexico Tourism Department, Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau, City of Deming and Luna County are collaborating on an advertising campaign that will increase awareness of the new border zone to the whole state of Chihuahua, as well as encourage more applications for the Laser Visa Border Crossing Card.
The campaign consists of print ads in several Chihuahuan newspapers, beginning in late June and continuing through mid-September, reaching 1.5 million readers. There will also be seven billboards posted from June 24th to September 22nd in Chihuahua City, Ciudad Juarez, the Pan American Freeway, Nuevo Casas Grandes and Palomas. There will be an online and mobile ad component as well as rack cards, which will be distributed at bridge border crossings on three occasions between July and August.
Finally, New Mexico Tourism has developed a landing page on their website to support the campaign. The Spanish language page at http://www.newmexico.org/visalaser will explain how to get a Laser Visa, how the rules work, and information on each of the communities, including attractions, events, lodging, itineraries and health facilities.
"Working together with the Las Cruces CVB, the City of Deming and Luna County, our ad campaign will be sure to get the word out to potential visitors," said Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson. "We are thrilled that so many more people from our border communities will now be able to experience the adventure steeped in culture found in southern New Mexico."
"We've developed a great relationship with our southern neighbor in promoting the state and to now be able to increase tourism and business to cities like Las Cruces, Deming, and Lordsburg is a wonderful opportunity for New Mexico," said Economic Development Secretary Jon Barela "We anticipate not only an increase in traffic to local eateries, hotels and shops but that it will also lead to the creation of more jobs."