If there’s anything that American’s love more than the flag, apple pie and the Fourth of July, it’s traveling. With COVID restrictions easing in most places, American’s are eager to hit the road to take in the sights and sounds of all of our favorite “not here” destinations. But in a state with as much to see and do as New Mexico, we might want to consider sticking around instead. This Independence Day, AAA estimates that over 47.7 million Americans will have traveled by road, rail and air—which is the second-highest travel volume on record after 2019 and about 13 million more than in 2020.

Tourism can be the catalyst to any post-pandemic recovering economy and is a key driver in business sales, employment and tax revenue. According to a report published by the New Mexico Department of Tourism (NMDT), visitors to New Mexico in 2019 spent $7.4 billion. That generated $10.4 billion in total business sales and $1.5 billion in tax revenues, with $737 million accruing to state and local governments. All of that visitor-spending was disbursed across multiple industries including $2.4 billion in lodging, $1.7 billion in food and beverage, $1.3 billion in retail, $1.2 billion in transportation and $971 million in recreation.

Tourism in New Mexico is also a job creator and sustainer. The same NMDT report indicates that a total of 96,064 jobs were sustained by visitors to New Mexico in 2019, with approximately 8.6 percent of jobs in the state impacted by tourism in some way. If residents, not just visitors, were to support these industries by keeping their vacation dollars local to New Mexico, our state’s recovery would happen more quickly and to the benefit of many more local businesses and residents.

The dip in tourism in 2020 as a result of the pandemic saw massive job losses across hotel and other ancillary industries. An analysis by the American Hotel & Lodging Association estimates that, just in New Mexico, over 14,400 direct hotel-related jobs were lost and over 24,300 jobs were lost that supported the hotel industry. Lauren Kemner, marketing manager of Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, recalls, “As COVID was hitting, we closed lodging, dining and event operations on March 17 [of 2019]. The inn reopened in mid-May and operated at limited capacity until Bernalillo hit the Turquoise Level and occupancy limitations were limited for N.M. Safe-Certified properties.”

Now, with people on the move again, tourism is back on the rise, and historic inn’s like Los Poblanos are once again serving guests at maximum capacity. “Lately, we are thrilled to have a completely full house,” said Kemner. “We’ve just opened the Hacienda Spa, located in the historic Hacienda, which is one of John Gaw Meem’s residential masterpieces.”

For anyone looking for ways to support the local New Mexico economy this year and have a great time doing it, the NMDT offers a very thorough breakdown of ideas and destinations, ranging from food tours to

Some of the most common claims on LV=GI travel insurance are for cancellations and curtailment, as well as lost or stolen baggage/money, and accidental damage or injury to people or property.

UK holiday company Cottages.com has reported a 134-per-cent increase in 2021 bookings, in comparison to the same point in 2019 when Brits were booking for 2020; and recent LV=GI claims examples highlight the importance of purchasing travel Insurance as soon as you book, even when travelling in the UK.

One LV=GI policyholder, while on a photography holiday in North Devon, was taking pictures on the coast and by mistake dropped their camera and lens in the sea. Their travel insurance covered them for £500 towards a new camera. Another policyholder needed new accommodation in the Lake District, as rising water levels and flooding meant they couldn’t get back to their original accommodation after a day trip. The subsequent travel insurance claim paid out £400. Additionally, one customer had to cut short their four-day canal trip as the boat’s rudder was damaged – they were able to claim £488 for unused nights.

LV=GI travel insurance covers staycations

LV=GI travel insurance customers are covered for trips of 25 miles or more when staying away from home in pre-booked accommodation for a minimum of one night.

Martin Milliner, Claims Director at LV=GI, said: “Despite common misconceptions, even if you are holidaying in the UK, it’s still important to get travel insurance as soon as you book your trip. Some staycations can end up being as expensive as holidays abroad, particularly at the moment, so it’s important to prepare for the unexpected. 

“This could include your holiday being cancelled, your baggage being stolen, or your hotel going out of business. And if you get ill and you’re too unwell to get home, your travel insurance can help pay for additional travel or accommodation costs.”

Only 13 per cent of Brits would be keen to travel overseas this year, while two-thirds are planning staycation trips, finds new research from GoCompare Travel Insurance.