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Colorado: Another record year for tourism?

International numbers strong through August: Colorado benefits from growth in international travel

Tourists and locals enjoy a concert at the Viktualienmarkt in Munich, Germany.

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — Global tourism grew by a healthy 4 percent between January and August 2012 compared to the same period the previous year, according to the latest figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization, which estimated about 705 million international arrivals during that span.

Based on those numbers, the global tourism market is still on pace to surpass 1 billion arrivals for the first time ever, and Colorado appears to have benefited from the industry’s strength.

“International numbers were up throughout the state … some reports indicate international visits were up as much as 30 percent,” said Al White, director of the Colorado Tourism Office. “This was due to a variety of reasons; a weak dollar versus most international currencies, as well as an increased effort on the part of the Administration to reduce obstacles to entry.  Visa interview wait times were decreased dramatically in Brazil, China, and Russia,” White said. Continue reading
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Colorado: Pre-registration starts for TBEX’12

River Run Village at Keystone Resort during the annual Beer and Bluegrass Festival.

Travel media conference at Keystone also taking proposals from prospective speakers

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Even though TBEX’12 is still 11 months away, pre-registration for the 2012 Travel Blog Exchange in Keystone, Colo. is now open.

The popular conference often fills early, and the advance rates are a good deal, at $59 for travel bloggers and $349 for PR reps through Aug. 31, when rates go up. As of July 10 there were still 148 tickets left at the $59 rate.

Regular registration starts Oct. 1 with rates going up to $85 for travel bloggers and other media types, and $549 for PR and industry people.

TBEX’12 organizers are also taking pitches for speaker slots, so anyone with a particular area of expertise who is interested should check out the proposal forms, online here. Continue reading

Colorado: Tourism makes strong comeback in 2010

Visitors enjoy a fine late-summer day at the Frisco Oktoberfest.

Trend toward shorter trips slows down; business travel also rebounds

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — In line with a global trend that shows the resiliency of the tourism industry, Colorado set several records in 2010 and saw tourist spending increase by 5 percent from 2009, climbing to $8.8 billion.

Nationwide, leisure travel saw a 6 percent rise in visits to family and friends and a 3 percent uptick in discretionary, marketable trips — the first increases since 2008, according to the Longwoods tourism study released last week.

Cruise line discounting and lower fuel costs help spur an increase in cruise business, and lower-expenditure vacations like casino and outdoor trips added travel volume, but flat to down patterns continued for trips that cost the most or have the highest per capita spending, including ski, resort, business-leisure, city trips and even special event travel.

To view the complete Longwoods International Colorado Travel Year Study 2010 presentation, visit the Colorado.com website. Continue reading

Colorado tourism office launches new mobile website

Tourism rally at Capitol helps kick off summer marketing push

Echo Lake, along the Mt. Evans highway, is one Colorado's most popular summer destinations. There aren't too many places in the world where you can drive to the summit of a 14,000-ft. peak — and Colorado has two of them.

Frisco residents Leigh Wadden and Comet enjoy the view of Mt. Evans from Summit Lake.

* Click here to see all Summit Voice travel and tourism stories.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Travelers planning an epic Colorado road trip this summer will able to share their pictures of Hanging Lake and the Maroon Bells, as well as their Foursquare check-ins with an easy click from their smartphones, thanks to the snazzy new mobile website launched by the Colorado Tourism Office this week.

The mobile site is designed for iPhones, Android devices and other smartphones and features buttons for hot deals, timely specials from hotels and restaurants and listings for special events and concerts. It serves as a launchpad to  connecting with the Colorado Tourism Office via social media channels such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr and Foursquare.

“Mobile technologies are rapidly evolving and they enable us to engage visitors before and during a trip to Colorado,” said Colorado Tourism Office director Al White. “The mobile My Colorado feature, currently a popular function of Colorado.com, enables visitors to share their itineraries with friends following the completion of their trip, using the connectivity of social media channels,” he added.

White said he’s optimistic that travel will continue to rebound this summer.

“Expectations for this year’s travel are high. It appears that the US is slowly pulling itself out of the “Great Recession” and starting to recognize that instead of reacting in horror to a roughly 9 percent unemployment rate, they are beginning to understand that 91 out of every one hundred Americans are employed, and that the bottom not only has been reached, but we have actually rebounded from our low point,” White said via email. Continue reading

Colorado: Glenwood Canyon Resort opens new restaurant

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Resort teams up with Frisco-based outfitters for adventure tours throughout the Upper Colorado Basin

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Along with riverside campsites, whitewater raft trips and popular the zipline adventures,the Glenwood Canyon Resort has a new amenity travelers and guests. The No Name Bar & Grill features spacious outdoor decks, inviting indoor spaces, delicious food and stunning views in the heart of Glenwood Canyon.

“We want the No Name Bar & Grill to be a place for our guests to meet, relax, eat, drink and enjoy themselves in a magnificent natural setting,” said Glenwood Canyon Resort Owner, Kevin Schneider.

The 5,000 square-foot deck that overlooks the Colorado River is covered with large wing-like canvas panels that provide shade, shelter and an ideal locale to watch the “live” action of rafting and ziplining below. Indoors, the floor-to-ceiling windows also enable guests tologle the same great views year-round.  During the summer season, the resort is planning to host family-friendly weekend entertainment. Continue reading

Denver convention business rebounds in 2010

City has second-best year ever, hosting 371,000 convention visitors

An 1898 panorama of Denver via Wikimedia and the Creative Commons.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Major gatherings like the SIA Snow Show and the National League of Cities helped Denver’s convention business rebound to its second-best year ever in 2010. Altogether, the city hosted 75 conventions in the Colorado Convention Center and 423 other meetings in 2010, for a total of 371,003 delegates with an estimated economic impact of $653 million. The city had 378,863 delegates in the best year of 2008, and dropped to 313,540 delegates in 2009.

“We didn’t have one huge visible convention last year, like the Democratic National Convention in 2008, however, we had a string of large conventions that together made 2010 a very strong convention and meeting year,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau. Continue reading

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