ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico wants to lure the growing Mexican middle-class across the border to shop.
The state and some southern New Mexico communities have launched an advertising campaign to capitalize on a rule change that the U.S. Government made in July, the Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/1bV8o81 ) reported.
The change doubles the distance that Mexicans with high-tech border crossing cards may travel into New Mexico without requesting an additional permit. It also increases the maximum time to one month from 72 hours.
New Mexico's campaign includes newspaper ads, fliers distributed on cars at ports of entry, billboards, a Spanish-language website and a smartphone campaign.
Phillip San Filippo of the Las Cruces Convention and Visitors Bureau said southern New Mexico hopes to encourage visitors to travel past El Paso, the Texas city right on the international border.
"We are looking to attract people to come here who want to do some shopping, and visit family and friends and enjoy cultural activities in the area," he said.
Half of the initial campaign's $60,000 funding is coming from the state. The Las Cruces bureau, Luna County and Deming are chipping in the rest.
"Our goal is to bring people and dollars to New Mexico," said state Tourism Secretary Monique Jacobson.
The campaign's initial phase features two young women snapping a photo of themselves with an iPhone in front of an iconic Mesilla brick wall, with a tagline invitation to shop and stay in southern New Mexico.
The next phase will hinge on a holiday theme, said David Hayduk, chief of HK Advertising chief executive. The Santa Fe-based firm designed the campaign.
The campaign's sponsors haven't arranged for a study of the campaign's economic impact.
"Arizona, when they did this, they started designing an evaluation of their marketing effort before it started," said James Peach, economics professor at New Mexico State University. "It's not cheap. You ought to survey before and then afterward so that you know if it makes a difference or not."