Tourism Strategy and Roadmap
In 2017, the Colorado Tourism Office developed the Colorado Tourism Roadmap (PDF), a comprehensive strategic plan to build the Colorado tourism industry’s competitive advantage through closer collaboration, creation of new traveler experiences across the state, and a fresh focus on sustainable tourism. The roadmap incorporates the voices of more than 1,000 tourism industry professionals.
It creates a focus on driving traveler spending rather than simply attracting increasing numbers of visitors. It also broadens the industry’s role from a singular focus on tourism promotion to incorporate the development of new tourism experiences, support for responsible tourism practices, and stronger, more direct advocacy.
Drive traveler spending through promotion and development of compelling, sustainable travel experiences throughout our four-corner state.
Colorado is the premier U.S. destination for active, outdoor and unique experiences that make you feel truly alive.
Strengthen Colorado's competitive position and resiliency of its tourism industry. We do this by:
- building appeal as a national destination, while generating demand for off-peak periods and less-traveled regions
- embracing “large team” thinking through partnerships that unlock the full potential of the tourism industry
- maximizing connection with Colorado residents
- optimizing domestic and international promotion to pull from highest potential markets
Increase visitation through creating and branding of new traveler experiences. We do this by:
- embracing “Destination Architect” thinking to stimulate economic development, especially in rural areas
- crafting new incentive programs to stimulate tourism product development
- creating programs to develop visitor readiness
Protect the integrity of Colorado resources through sustainable tourism. We do this by:
- embracing thinking that disperses visitors in productive ways
- inviting travelers to embrace Coloradans’ sustainability ethic while here
- creating alliances with other stakeholders to magnify the impact of sustainable tourism initiatives
Communicate the power of tourism to drive economic and lifestyle benefits. We do this by:
- building an effective advocacy platform
- developing sustainable funding to grow and protect Colorado’s competitive position
- supporting development of critical infrastructure to support the health of the tourism economy
The Colorado Tourism Roadmap points the way to several new initiatives, all aimed at positioning the Colorado tourism industry for success in a competitive landscape that bombards travelers with a vast array of choices on where to spend their precious time off.
Key strategies to capitalize on the opportunities and challenges identified in the Roadmap are as follows:
One of the most frequent opinions voiced in Roadmap listening sessions was that the state’s seven travel regions are doing little either to drive consumer awareness or serve as meaningful platforms for regional marketing collaboration. With the participation of a new Regional Branding Task Force, the Colorado Tourism Office selected an internationally renowned place branding agency, Destination Think! to shape and brand new travel regions during 2018.
With many Colorado residents voicing concerns about the impacts of travelers on special places and natural resources, the Roadmap’s 'Steward' pillar laid the groundwork for a new responsible tourism partnership aimed at protecting what makes Colorado such a special destination. As part of this initiative, The Colorado Tourism Office is encouraging travelers to explore off-peak seasons and less-visited destinations, while inspiring them to travel like a local, engage in “voluntourism” and support causes dear to Coloradans. The foundation of the Colorado Tourism Office's new stewardship platform is being created in partnership with the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.
Colorado Tourism Leadership Journey
The Colorado Tourism Leadership Journey is a tuition-based, year-long program for tourism professionals to grow their careers. For employers, it offers a cost-effective way to develop, reward, and retain top talent. The Colorado Tourism Office created this program to grow economic development through a stronger, more unified tourism industry.
Creating Destination Architects
A key goal of the Roadmap’s new 'Create' pillar is for Colorado destination marketing organizations — including the Colorado Tourism Office — to embrace the role of “destination architect,” taking an active role in developing and shaping new tourism offerings to attract visitors. The Colorado Tourism Office's first major step toward achieving this goal took effect July 1, 2017, when its beloved Heritage and Agritourism program transitioned into the more broadly focused Destination Development program, incorporating even more dimensions of rural tourism, including outdoor and cycling tourism.