The New Mexico Tourism Department has created a new tourism development division aimed at expanding the state’s tourism base and helping communities develop new tourism products.

The department announced this week that the new division will focus on increasing gross receipts taxes and promoting greater economic development opportunities.

The new division comes after an analysis earlier this month said the number of travelers to the state in 2015 increased by more than 2 percent to 34 million.

That analysis said visitors generated an estimated $629 million in state and local taxes.



Officials say New Mexico saw record-breaking tourism for the fourth year in a row and created more than 2,500 related tourism jobs last year.

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