Tourism Santa Fe retains Lou Hammond for PR

Tourism Santa Fe has retained Lou Hammond & Associates as its PR agency partner following a competitive review involving 15 firms.

SANTA FE, NM: Tourism Santa Fe has retained Lou Hammond & Associates as its PR agency partner following a competitive review involving 15 firms.

Five finalists were interviewed in July during an industry committee review of the proposals ahead of Lou Hammond & Associates receiving the award, according to a statement.

The agency has worked with the tourism board for the last four years, along with Locas Communications. Santa Fe, New Mexico-based Locas will no longer work on the account.

Representatives from Lou Hammond and Tourism Santa Fe were not immediately available for comment.

As the lead PR agency, Lou Hammond will work directly with Tourism Santa Fe and the city’s leadership on strategic planning to draw visitors.

Lou Hammond has helped Tourism Santa Fe bring in more than $7 million in estimated earned media through the 2013-2014 fiscal year, according to a statement. Stories about the city have appeared in outlets such as USA Today, The Huffington Post, The New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times.

While the number of visitors to New Mexico last year rose by less than 1%, the state reportedly saw a 7% increase in tourist spending, garnering about $300 million in revenue. In addition to the revenue jump, New Mexico’s leisure and hospitality industry created 1,700 new jobs in 2013, as well as 700 new jobs from January to May of this year.

Earlier this week, Santa Fe tourism officials said they’re trying to get the City Council to agree to have The Bachelor filmed in the city. The council is reviewing the request, which would require Santa Fe to spend at least $100,000 from its reserve budget on activities around the ABC television show.

The New Mexico Department of Tourism has agreed to draft a letter of intent to provide $50,000 toward the initiative, according to reports.

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