Colorado welcomed 82.4M visitors in 2016, generated $1.2B in state, local tax revenue

Colorado Springs
Colorado Springs was recently named a top summer travel destination in the U.S. by TripAdvisor. / TripAdvisor

DENVER, Colo. — Colorado has once again set all-time records for total visitors, visitor spending and tax generation in 2016, according to the Colorado Tourism Office (CTO).

In 2016, Colorado welcomed 82.4 million visitors who spent $19.7 billion, generating $1.2 billion in state and local tax revenue, according to the CTO.

Total direct travel spending in Colorado reached an all-time high of $19.7 billion in 2016, with 66 percent of that total from overnight stays in paid accommodations (hotels, motels, rented condos, campgrounds, RV parks and bed & breakfasts). This in turn spurred job creation. Officials say in 2016, the travel industry supported 165,000 jobs – a 3.1 percent increase over 2015.

Additionally, Colorado welcomed an unprecedented 82.4 million visitors in 2016 – that’s up 6 percent from the 77.7 million who visited in 2015. The 2016 numbers included a record 37.7 million overnight visitors and 44.7 million day travelers. The state’s most valuable travel segment — marketable leisure trips – reached an all-time high of 18.7 million, a 9.3 percent increase over 2015. Marketable leisure trips, unlike business travel or visits to friends and family, represent travelers who have a choice of destinations and thus can be influenced by marketing.

Colorado’s award-winning ‘Come To Life’ marketing campaign continued to show a high return on investment from April 2016 through March 2017. In studies by Strategic Marketing & Research Insights (SMARInsights), the campaign ranked among the top 10 percent nationally, both for inspiring travelers to want to visit and to learn more about the state.

>> Click here to see the full reports.

Officials say this is the sixth consecutive year the CTO has seen record-setting growth. Since 2009, the state has posted a 37 percent increase in visitation, more than double the 17 percent growth in travel nationally.

 

 

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