Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Presented by ExxonMobil Generates $203.19 Million into Albuquerque Economy
February 8, 2023
ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO- New Mexico’s largest visitor event, the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, today announced results of a third-party economic impact study.
The 2022 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta generated $203.19 million of total economic impact for businesses in the Albuquerque metropolitan area. The nine-day event attracted an estimated 828,800 guest visits with an estimated 76 percent of its visitors traveling from outside of New Mexico. Of the estimated $203.19 million of total economic impact, direct spending by Balloon Fiesta guests at local businesses is estimated to be $119.52 million. The Balloon Fiesta commissioned Forward Analytics to conduct the 2022 economic impact survey.
“People from around the globe travel to New Mexico to watch the world’s largest gathering of balloonists take to the skies above Albuquerque,” said New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. “The economic impact of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta lifts our entire state for far more than nine days a year.”
The 50th annual Balloon Fiesta had a total estimated economic impact on metro- Albuquerque’s business volume of $203.19 million. Balloon Fiesta guest spending benefited local business volume by $119.52 million and indirect impact of $83.67 million. The State of New Mexico receives an estimated $12.4 million in tax revenues from the direct economic activity attributable to 2022 Balloon Fiesta. The City of Albuquerque gained an estimated $5.88 million in tax revenues and Bernalillo County gained an estimated $1.57 million.
The estimated $119,524 million in direct spending attributable to Balloon Fiesta produced an additional $64.16 million in New Mexico’s employment wages supporting 1,227 FTE at an annual salary of $52,263. Guests spent an average of $27 per person with Balloon Fiesta concessionaires, many of which are regional businesses. Most of this spending was on food/drinks and merchandise and the estimated average spending excludes parking and admission charges.
"Burqueños welcome visitors from all around the world to share in the magic of Fiesta,” said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. “The Balloon Fiesta generates important revenue that helps our entire community, and it's great to see how small businesses and tourism benefit from this iconic event.”
The 50th Balloon Fiesta wooed 630,000 out-of-state guests (76 percent) to the Land of Enchantment. Another 48,070 (6 percent) of guests reside in New Mexico but came from outside of the metro area. Survey respondents represented 44 states and international countries. The most popular sessions at Balloon Fiesta (as indicated by survey respondents) are balloon mass ascensions, balloon glows, and fireworks. Survey research shows that the event was an overall positive experience among its guests as an overwhelming 88.4 percent of guests were either very satisfied or satisfied with 2022 Balloon Fiesta.
“In addition to the simple joy balloons in the expansive New Mexico sky brings to visitors, we are so pleased that Balloon Fiesta contributes in such a significant financial way to New Mexicans and our major state industry of tourism,” said Judith Nakamura, president of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta Board of Directors.
"Balloon Fiesta is the Premiere Balloon Event, bringing in thousands of fans to Albuquerque and New Mexico to enjoy the kaleidoscope of color from around the world. The financial contributions our fans bring to the state of New Mexico provides us satisfaction and joy to know that Balloon Fiesta's Mission Statement of promoting Albuquerque and the state New Mexico is successful," said Sam Parks, Balloon Fiesta executive director.
Forward Analytics fielded on-site, intercept interviews with 966 adult attendees (ages 18+) during 12 of the 14 sessions of Balloon Fiesta. A small incentive (a well-appreciated Balloon Fiesta jar opener) was provided to survey respondents. The sample size represents a statistical significance of +/-3.15 percent margin at the 95 percent confidence interval. This means the statistics are within 3.15 percentage points of the real population 95 percent of the time. Generally, a +/-5 percent margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level is considered significant data for business decisions.
A full copy of the report can be found here.
About the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta
The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is an annual festival of hot air balloons that takes place every October in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. It is the largest gathering of balloons and balloonists in the world. For details on events, schedule, entertainment and photographs visit our website www.balloonfiesta.com and follow us on Twitter @BalloonFiesta and Facebook.