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Larry Atchison Worked For The Visit Albuquerque Sales Team For More Than 30 Years; Scholarship Will Create Opportunities For Tourism Students With A Focus on DEI

Visit Albuquerque's Associate Director of Sales Larry Atchison retired in January after 31 years with the organization. In recognition of his work and impact on the community, the organization announced the Visit Albuquerque Scholarship honoring Larry Atchison. The scholarship will be provided to create opportunity for a tourism student with a focus on diversity, equity and inclusion.

This scholarship was granted for the first time on Dec. 13, 2023, at the Greater Albuquerque Hotel & Lodging Association luncheon to Grace Sarfo, a graduate student from Ghana who is completing her master's degree in the Hospitality, Restaurant & Tourism Management program at New Mexico State University.

"Larry has been a true pillar in the local hospitality community, and Visit Albuquerque and the tourism and hospitality industry are beyond grateful for his dedication and the significant impact he's made on our city," said Tania Armenta, President & CEO of Visit Albuquerque. "We're thrilled to continue his legacy with this scholarship, and we cannot wait to see what Grace and future recipients will accomplish in their careers and for the industry."

I am honored and humbled by this recognition," said Atchison. "Diversity, equity and inclusion have always been important values to me, and I'm happy I can continue to support the hospitality and tourism industry in this way."

Atchison was with Visit Albuquerque from 1992-2023 and had a substantial impact during his tenure. He helped establish the city as a premier meeting destination and was instrumental in helping to distinguish Albuquerque as a top choice for faith-based meetings.

In a rough approximation completed by Visit Albuquerque staff, the estimated impact of Larry's efforts includes:

•       759 meetings booked

•       536,775 room nights generated

•       468,027 meeting attendees brought to Albuquerque

•       $300,629,368 in estimated direct spend to brought Albuquerque through his bookings

Larry's bookings for Albuquerque:

•       Could fill all downtown Albuquerque hotels every night for over a year

•       Resulted in a number of meeting attendees equaling the population of Miami, Florida During his time at Visit Albuquerque, Larry spent:

•       64,480 hours bringing business to Albuquerque

•       99,000 minutes networking at trade shows

•       8,320 hours on the phone with clients In his 31 years with Visit Albuquerque, Larry has:

•       Taken over 35 hot air balloon rides

•       Been on the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway over 150 times

•       Hosted 179 site visits

•       Eaten more than 370 red chile enchiladas with clients

"While in his role, Larry's name became synonymous with Albuquerque," said Armenta. "Many meeting planners requested him by name, and that shows what a well-respected individual he is. We will miss him greatly but will continue to reap the benefits of his hard work for years to come."

About Visit Albuquerque

Visit Albuquerque is an accredited destination marketing organization (DMO), and a private, not- for-profit organization [501(c)(6)]. The mission of Visit Albuquerque is to stimulate economic growth by marketing Albuquerque as a convention, sports and visitor destination. For more information, go to

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