White Sands’ national park status expected to boost tourism

December 22, 2019 GMT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico says people shouldn’t expect any major administrative changes with White Sands National Monument becoming the state’s first national park since 1930.

But he cites a study that says the park could see an increase of 100,000 visitors annually with the change in status.

Heinrich tells the Albuquerque Journal that such an increase would be a boom for the local economies with an additional $7.5 million in tourist spending in the area a year.

He says national park status will open White Sands to more exposure from national travel and outdoors publications.

Heinrich has also introduced legislation that would designate Bandelier National Monument in northern New Mexico a national park.