The Chaffee County Visitors Bureau was awarded a Colorado Rural Academy for Tourism (CRAFT) Recovery Mentor program by the Colorado Tourism Office in fall 2020 to advance recovery efforts related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The objective of this CRAFT Recovery Mentor project was to develop a framework for building awareness and adoption of the Adventure By Nature pledge by visitors to Chaffee County to reduce impacts on public lands and increase economic benefits for tourism communities in the county. Responsible recreation messaging was developed for the 2021 Chaffee County Visitor guide and other Chaffee County communications platforms, including the Adventure By Nature pledge. This content can also be shared with local tourism stakeholders to help build cohesive messaging to encourage responsible visitation and collaboratively market the Adventure By Nature pledge.
CRAFT Recovery Mentor Program Results
The Chaffee County Visitors Bureau was paired with Hilary Lewkowitz, a CRAFT Mentor with experience in rural tourism development, stakeholder engagement, sustainable tourism and destination marketing, to achieve the following outcomes:
- Facilitation of a kick-off meeting with the Chaffee County Visitors Bureau team to review case studies of tourism destination pledges, discuss best practices to incorporate into the launch of the Adventure by Nature pledge, and confirm next steps for the project.
- Development of responsible recreation messaging for the 2021 Chaffee County Visitor Guide. Messaging includes best practices for specific activities (e.g. hiking, camping, etc.) that align with visitor impact priorities outlined in the Envision Chaffee County Outdoor Recreation Report.
- Provided additional content and feedback for the 2021 Chaffee County Visitor Guide, including content creation for the Libations Loop and Discovery Pass.
- Development of a Responsible Recreation Messaging Inventory for the Chaffee County Visitors Bureau and its tourism stakeholders to utilize for future visitor behavior messaging campaigns, including the Adventure By Nature pledge.
“The pandemic has made it difficult to be creative and motivated due to lack of interaction, inspiration and travel. The CRAFT Recovery Mentor program helped me get on track with this project. It was great to collaborate with others to justify and polish our ideas.” - Scott Peterson, Chaffee County
About CRAFT Recovery Mentor
The Colorado Tourism Office developed the Colorado Rural Academy For Tourism (CRAFT) to support communities across the state integrate tourism into their economic development strategies and develop new visitor experiences aimed at attracting increased traveler spending.
The CRAFT Recovery Mentor program provides up to 50 hours of mentoring for Colorado tourism partners to advance one or more tourism strategies that bolsters their response to a recent crisis or natural disaster.