New tourism office director Al White to speak; state tourism spending in 2009 dipped $1 billion from previous year
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — After a soft year in 2009, global tourism was on the upswing in 2010, even surpassing previous records with strong performances in developing countries.
Colorado tourism stakeholders may find out if the state matched that trend at a Jan. 24 conference at the State Capitol featuring talks by Al White, the new director of the Colorado Tourism Office, several politicians and Bryan Bedford, CEO of Frontier Airlines.
The most recent data available for Colorado is for 2009. The annual report, released in June, showed that the state outperformed many other states with a 1.1 percent increase in domestic visitors from 2008 to 2009, to 51.7 million. But tourists didn’t stay as long or spend as much as in previous years. Overall, tourism spending in Colorado dropped by $1 billion in 2009, from $9.6 billion to $8.6 billion. Business travel declined by 20 percent.
For the U.S. overall, overnight trips dropped 7.7 percent in 2009 from the previous year. But in Colorado, 2009 overnight visits were up 3 percent from the previous year, and Denver even set an all-time record, attracting 10.1 million overnight visits in 2009, up 4 percent from the previous year.
Day visitor spending remained fairly constant in 2009, reaching $1.2 billion, a decrease of .01 percent over 2008. In Denver, total visitors spent $2.8 billion, down nine percent from the record $3.1 billion in 2008. However, Colorado and Denver both outpaced national figures for visitor spending.
City trips to Colorado matched last year’s record growth in this segment reaching 1.2 million. The 16th Street Mall, Cherry Creek Shopping District and LoDo continued as Denver’s top attractions, with the Denver Zoo, Red Rocks Amphitheatre and the Colorado Rockies topping the list of the city’s paid attractions.
Click here to view the complete Longwoods International Colorado Travel Year Study 2009 presentation.