Destination Development Program

Destination Development

The Destination Development team inspires Colorado tourism industry partners to develop, manage, and promote visitor experiences that align with their competitive advantage as a destination and help protect their unique sense of place.

Our core competencies include:

  • research and planning
  • community visioning and action planning
  • access to implementation resources
  • continued tourism industry education

We primarily partner with Colorado destinations and Colorado tourism industry associations. Destination Development programs and opportunities typically focus on the activities listed below:

  • Advance off-peak tourism opportunities
  • Advance tourism workforce 
  • Champion the value of tourism
  • Develop and enhance the visitor experience 
  • Encourage responsible and respectful use 
  • Foster inclusive travel opportunities 
  • Promote local businesses and experiences 

Destination Development Goals

  • Broaden the scope of tourism investments in Colorado across economic, environmental, and social impacts
  • Reposition the value of tourism in Colorado as an industry that benefits local quality of life
  • Provide capacity across the state to advance tourism-related projects

Programs, Initiatives & Opportunities

Destination Blueprint seeks to partner with up to 10 destination organizations around the state to increase alignment between local tourism stakeholders and completion of one or more priority tourism projects.

The Destination Development Mentor Program seeks to match up to 15 destination organizations and industry association partners with experienced tourism consultants to provide expertise, resources, mentorship, and capacity building.

Tourism Subject Matter Experts provide Colorado tourism industry partners with access to complementary one-hour consultations on a variety of topics that include champion the value of tourism, outdoor recreation strategy, social media strategy, and International Dark Sky Place certification.

Colorado Dark Sky Mentor Certification Program partners with tourism destinations across the state that are interested in advancing strategies that help achieve International Dark Sky Place (IDSP) certification and enhance Colorado’s visitor experience.

Colorado Electric Byways assists communities along the 26 Colorado Scenic & Historic Byways to install charging infrastructure.

CRAFT Learning Labs provide Colorado tourism professionals with access to free educational content that supports continued learning opportunities related to the tourism industry. Learning labs are available on topics such as adventure tourism, sustainable tourism, and tourism marketing.

Past Programs, Initiatives & Opportunities

Colorado Rural Academy for Tourism (CRAFT) helped communities integrate tourism into their economic development strategies. By participating in CRAFT, communities developed new visitor experiences and increase traveler spending.

Colorado Recovery Assistance for Tourism (CRAFT) was a series of programs that assisted Colorado tourism destinations and Colorado tourism industry associations to advance collaborative projects that fostered the long-term resilience of the statewide industry during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Destination Development Team