Colorado’s record tourism growth hits new milestone

The 84.7 million U.S.-based travelers and nearly 1 million international visitors also generated a total of $1.28 billion in state and local tax revenues, studies found, marking the eighth consecutive year of record-setting growth.

“Colorado has been emerging as a national destination over the past five or six years, and we’re continuing to carve out our share of the marketable leisure travelers in the U.S.,” said Cathy Ritter, director of the Colorado Tourism Office. “That holds great promise, especially with additional investment into the tourism sector in the future.

Other findings:

  • In 2017, the Colorado travel industry directly supported 171,000 jobs and earnings of more than $6.3 billion, a 3.4 percent increase over 2016.
  • Colorado last year attracted 37.9 million overnight travelers, including 34 million leisure (non-business) travelers. By comparison, Denver had 17 million overnight visitors in 2017.
  • The state overall saw a 2 percent increase in marketable leisure travelers  in 2017 – on top of a 9 percent increase in that category in 2016. While the rest of the U.S. was flat in 2017 (and up 4 percent in 2016), Colorado’s increases moved the state from the 13th-largest share to 8th largest share of these travelers in just two years.
  •  The most popular place to visit in Colorado is the Denver metro area. Last year, 6 in 10 vacationers spent at least some time there, and 46 percent spent at least one night.
  • 1 in 4 leisure visitors spent time in the mountain towns and ski resorts, Pikes Peak Region and/or the northern Front Range in 2017.
  • About 1 in 7 tourists visited the Western Slope Region, while 1 in 20 took in the Eastern Plains or San Luis Valley.

Read more about the boom in tourism at the Post’s website.

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