Colorado tourism sets all-time visitor spending record in 2018

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DENVER, Colo (KKCO/KJCT)-- The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) announced on August 8, 2019, that travelers set an all-time high spending record of $22 billion on Colorado trips and vacations in 2018.

Many factors played into these results, including an increased number of international visitors, a better economy and Colorado doing a fantastic job of looking after and protecting its wild places.

“Colorado’s rivers, forests, mountains, and plains are part of why so many people love our great state,” says Colorado Governor Jared Polis. “That’s why we continue to emphasize protecting our special wild places, ensuring Coloradans and visitors alike can enjoy them long into the future.”

Similarly, Mesa County broke records in their tourism revenue, as they topped the $311 million mark for the first time ever. This generated $86.6 million in tax revenue which went straight into the economy here on the Western Slope.

“People have more money in their back pockets and they are willing to travel more. And Colorado is one of those top destinations,” says Colorado Tourism Board Member Matt Soper. “People want to get to the great outdoors and travel and see what Colorado has to offer.”

Colorado has consistently been a visitor’s greatest destination and Mesa County and its surrounding areas are no different.

“When you have world-class beauty, I can’t think of any other state I’d want to be in besides Colorado,” says Soper. “We have such diversity as well. From the monument here in Mesa County, biking, wineries, to exploring further south where we have the San Juan’s and the Great Sand Dunes. It is a unique beauty you can’t find anywhere else than Colorado.”

Mesa County saw visitors spending 7 percent more per person which points to a strengthened economy.

Soper predicts that this increased tourism revenue rolls into next year, as models predict that the economy remains strong and he sees continued success with the program “Come to life, Come to Colorado,” which is an initiative to showcase everything Colorado has to offer to visitors around the globe.

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