“The goal of our tour is really to dive deep into some of the programs that will be offered in the coming fiscal year, either an expansion, or a change, or an added benefit that relates specifically to business, industry, attractions , interested parties,” Antoinette Vigil, Deputy Secretary for Tourism, told the crowd.
Guest speakers discussed grants related to beautification, rural infrastructure, event support and maintenance, and marketing, among other resources.
Some of these programs are already used by the city of Roswell, a city heavily dependent on foreign visitors.
“For the City of Roswell, we have such an iconic brand, it’s something that our downtown businesses rely on us to help bring visitors to their business, to our local restaurants,” said Junita Jennings, Director of Public Affairs for the City of Roswell.
Jennings, who manages the city’s marketing efforts, said in 2022 the city had received a total of $157,096.50 and for the coming year it had so far requested $143,655. . Much of that money is for city marketing, like the $9,000 the state received from the Google Ads Department to promote the city’s annual UFO festival.
The city also received funding for the Department’s Marketing and Advertising Program, which is used for print, billboard and digital advertisements marketing the city. Themes go beyond the UFOs and extraterrestrials that Roswell is known for and also include the city’s outdoor riches, including its museums and outdoor riches, as well as activities such as hiking, bird watching and fishing. ‘astronomy.
“It’s about making memories and having this adventure of exploration,” Jennings said.
Beyond marketing, the city also hopes to apply for a $50,000 grant from the Department to make improvements to its visitor center, located downtown. The city has already set aside $300,000 and hired an engineer for the project.
Improvements to the center are expected to include expanded parking and digital kiosks where visitors can inquire and make lists of local attractions they want to visit.
With pandemic restrictions now relaxed, Jennings said she thought people were eager to travel again.
“After being locked up these two years, it’s about getting out there, and you know, being able to explore all that we have to offer,” Jennings said.