New Mexico has plenty to offer, but people just don't know much about it, say locals after watching tourism plummet almost 10% over the past three years. Now, the state is running a $2.5 million PR campaign to change people's perceptions of the state. "People think New Mexico is all hoity-toity, high-end—or, for the real out-there people, there's Roswell," says a Santa Fe boutique owner. But officials would prefer to project an image of "adventure steeped in culture," the new state tourism boss tells the Wall Street Journal.
To that end, the 100-year-old state is seeking a new slogan. "Land of Enchantment" doesn't seem to be doing the job; some focus group members thought New Mexico was a different country, while others thought it was on the coast. The groups offered less-than-ideal perceptions of the state, calling it "barren" and "dull." It's time for a "strong, iconic" rebranding, says the tourism chief. (Read more New Mexico stories.)