Each year, the Colorado Tourism Office hosts Tourism Day at the Capitol, a chance for members of the state’s tourism industry to get updates on the legislature’s tourism spending forecasts and lobby for the importance of that funding for local businesses, taxpayers and the Colorado economy at large.
Miles’ Colorado team hoisted on some panty hose and respectable business wear to attend the event in Denver on Jan. 29. Governor John Hickenlooper and several state and house representatives were on hand to talk about their commitments to tourism spending and field questions from the industry.
Lawmakers are subject to pleas for funding from many interests. It can seem frivolous to argue for tourism when the senate is voting on dollars for education, law enforcement or health care. But when you hear that for every $1 given to Colorado tourism, $13 comes back in state and local tax revenue, you’re making a good case for the importance of that spending—and its ability to generate dollars for those essential programs.
Colorado tourism talking points: • For every $1 dollar invested in the CTO’s 2012 ad campaign, $200 was returned in visitor spending and $13 in state and local tax revenue.
• In 2011, more than 141,000 jobs were generated by visitor spending.
• A total of $879 million in state and local taxes was created in 2011 from visitor spending.
• Total visitor spending in 2011 was more than $15.9 billion (up 9.2% over 2010).
The night before the event, we attended a reception where we were able to talk to Colorado legislators about the above points and also chat with members of the industry who are impacted by the work Miles does. Talking with the B&B owner, rafting outfitter or hotelier whose year rises or falls based on our guides and website driving travelers to their area or business is a humbling—and meaningful—exercise.