Albuquerque Tourism Is in Play

The Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau sent requests for proposals to 28 New Mexico advertising agencies last month. Incumbent Rick Johnson & Co. was included in the invitation to bid on the three-year, $600,000 account.

Bids were due Jan. 5. The client expects to award the contract onJuly 1.

RJ&C of Albuquerque has had a year-to-year contract renewal arrangement with the AC&VB for 17 years. The decision to put the account up for review “was not predicated on dissatisfaction with the work done by Rick Johnson & Company,” said Mary Kay Cline, bureau president and chief executive officer.

A consultant’s recent report recommended changes in the organization’s request for proposal process and its “long-term vendor relationships,” she said. Among other tasks, the consultant was asked to analyze and recommend better ways of holding AC&VB accountable to the city for the tourist and convention business it brings to New Mexico’s largest city.

AC&VB, via its contract with Albuquerque, receives roughly $3.4 million of its $5.4 million budget from a city tax on lodgers.

Last year, RJ&C won the Las Cruces (N.M.) Convention & Visitors Bureau account. Its other in-state destination clients include Santa Fe County Tourism, the Rio Rancho C&VB and the Gallup C&VB. In October, agency principals Rick and Debbie Johnson were named Tourism Industry Professionals of the Year by the New Mexico Governor’s Conference on Tourism.