N.M. Tourism Ads React to Fires

The New Mexico De-partment of Tourism is launching a direct mail campaign this month in answer to more than 100,000 inquiries received from potential visitors concerned about traveling to the state this summer.
The ad campaign follows in the wake of the Cerro Grande forest fire, which devastated areas in and around Los Alamos, N.M. The fire has blackened more than 48,000 acres and destroyed or damaged more than 400 residences, businesses and other structures.
Martin Ledger, advertising manager for tourism, said the state department’s agency of record, Rick Johnson & Co. of Albuquerque, is designing postcards with welcoming messages and reminders about how and where to obtain information about New Mexico.
The agency is also working on new media buys in the Sunday travel sections of major daily newspapers across the nation.
Shortly after the fires broke out this spring, New Mexico’s tourism department released a scheduled in-state radio, print and outdoor advertising blitz under the banner “Enchanted Vacations.”
A spin on the state’s official slogan, Land of Enchantment, the campaign is slated to end in October. The first phase was planned as a short burst in May. It was extended through June to remind travelers that most of the state has been untouched by fires and that the majority of destinations remain safe.
A fire northeast of Santa Fe in the Pecos Wilderness/Santa Fe National Forest, however, was still burning last week after consuming nearly 25,000 acres. The tourist department’s Web site, www.new-mexico.org, carried no information on the fire’s status.
Travel by New Mexico residents produced about one-third of the state’s $3.3 billion in tourism revenues in 1999.