Michael Pitel

Michael Edward Pitel worked in the New Mexico state tourism office, where, for more than 22 years, he guided, developed, or created several programs in that agency. He served as an Information Specialist, Market Research Specialist, Travel Writer/Photographer, Heritage Tourism Development Officer, Media Relations Manager, and Economic Development Representative, and helped it grow from a seven-person unit to an 80-member department. Along the way, he created four critically acclaimed and comprehensive four-color brochures about the Santa Fe Trail (in 1989), Billy the Kid Country (1994), El Camino Real de Tierra Adentro (1999), and New Mexico’s Route 66 (in 2001, under state contact), which were distributed as travel planning tools to tourists, travel media, and tour operators domestically and abroad. Mike was elected to the New Mexico Tourism Hall of Fame in 1999 (and remains the only rank and file state tourism office employee to be so honored). Shortly after his early retirement, he founded TravelSource New Mexico, a Santa Fe-based business that creates tourism products and services for New Mexico’s tourism industry, with a special emphasis on its nationally prominent historic pathways.