When it comes to Colorado tourism, less can be more. Case in point: while tourism growth slowed between 2017 and 2018, the state earned more tourist dollars than ever before.
Colorado’s growth in tourist visits rose just 1% between 2017 and 2018. But those tourists spent a record $22.3 billion before leaving town. Along the way, they validated a strategy of the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) to target high-spending visitors to the state, rather than tourists at large.
The aim is to minimize the environmental “footprint” of visitors, “as the CTO stresses sustainability of its outdoor areas in marketing to those who do want to tread here,” according to the Denver Business Journal.
Despite the slowdown in growth, tourism is thriving in the state. In 2018, 85 million people visited the state, spending 6.7% more than in the previous year, “well above the national average increase of 4.1% for states,” notes the Denver Business Journal. Colorado also enjoyed the largest share of ski visitors (19.8%) of any state, according to the newspaper.
While overnight and business travel were flat in 2018, those who came for overnight trips stayed longer (an average of five nights instead of four in 2017). And leisure travelers spent nearly $100 more per person per trip than previously: $495 vs. $386.