BBER Publications

Document Type

Technical Report

Publication Date



Albuquerque International Balloon Festival


Bureau of Business & Economic Research, Division of Government Research


With the greatest number of hot-air balloons per capita of any major city, it was appropriate that the 1975 World Hot-Air Balloon Championship was held in Albuquerque, along with its fourth annual International Balloon Festival. The event attracted 162 participants from around the world. At the request of the festival coordinators, the UNM Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) undertook a study to measure the economic impact of the event. Three separate sample surveys were conducted: balloon race participants; occupants of area hotels; Albuquerque residents via telephone interviews. Data were compiled on the state or nation of origin for both race participants and event spectators. Albuquerque residents were surveyed on their attitudes toward possible funding sources for the annual event; 58.8 % of respondents agreed that the city should contribute funds. Both participants and spectators were surveyed on the amount of daily and total expenditures for the event. Results for participants included a mean daily expenditure of $180.10 and total other expenditures of $480.29 per party, with a mean party size of 4.1. Spectators staying in hotels had a mean party size of 2.4, occupied 223 rooms (5.0 % of the available hotel rooms), stayed in Albuquerque a mean number of eight days, and spent an average of $96.00 per day per party. Using a conservative multiplier figure of 1.5 BBER estimated that the International Balloon Festival event had a significant positive impact (both initial and secondary) of $1,509,721.00.