OCT. 6-14 2018

Event News & Updates

Feb 7, 2018

Balloon Fiesta Generates $101.75 Million Direct Economic Impact in Albuquerque Area

Scientific Survey Estimates Event Attracted 572,000 Visitors to New Mexico 


Contact: Tom Garrity media@balloonfiesta.com 

ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO- The 2017 Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta generated an estimated $101.75 million of direct economic impact into the area economy and generated nearly $10 million in tax receipts according to a third-party economic impact survey of guests attending the 46th annual event.  

“With more than 95 percent of our guests saying they are very satisfied or satisfied with their Balloon Fiesta experience we are confident that adding trollies and other onsite amenities enhanced visitors’ time at the park,” says Ty Young, president of the Balloon Fiesta Board of Directors.

The economic impact survey includes the following findings:

  • 2017 Balloon Fiesta attracted an estimated 887,970 guests over the nine-day event, October 7th to 15th. It includes 572,000 (64.4 percent) from outside of New Mexico; more out of state guests visited from Texas, California, Colorado, and Arizona than any other state.


  • The event generated $172.98 million of total economic impact in the Metro-Albuquerque area ($101.75 million direct impact and $71.23 million in indirect impact).


  • The event generated estimated tax revenue of $5.71 million for the State of New Mexico; $3.51 million for the City of Albuquerque, and $826,735 for Bernalillo County.


  • Out of state visitors spent an estimated $40.09 million in local lodging revenue (which generated 1.84 million in lodgers’ tax for the Albuquerque area) and $16.62 million at local restaurants. 


  • The $101.75 million in direct spending attributable to Balloon Fiesta generated an additional $54.62 million in New Mexico’s employment wages supporting 1,419 FTE at an annual salary of $38,474.


  • The top attractions at Balloon Fiesta (as indicated by survey respondents) are balloon mass ascensions, balloon glows, and fireworks. Survey research proved that the event was an overall positive experience as an overwhelming 95.4% of guests were very satisfied or satisfied with 2017 Balloon Fiesta.


  • 52.4% of this year’s guests experienced Balloon Fiesta for the first time, 26.2% attended five or more years (the average is 5.3 years). With 14 ballooning sessions available to guests, the majority (73.8%) attended 2 or more sessions and 12.1% attended 5 or more.


  • Traditional and social media generated 1.71 billion gross impressions. Seventy percent of Balloon Fiesta guests shared images of the ballooning event on social media during their visit.


The study, conducted by Forward Analytics, included in-person interviews with 1,287 adult attendees (ages 18+) during 14 sessions of Balloon Fiesta. The sample size represents a 95% confidence level. 

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.