Rural Tourism Professional Development Scholarship

The Rural Tourism Professional Development Scholarship provides up to $500 to help rural tourism professionals learn and improve their skills. Professional development opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • marketing courses
  • digital or social media conferences
  • business development workshops
  • technical skills training

 Due to COVID-19, we postponed applications from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2021. Check back for updates or sign up for Colorado Tourism Office email updates.


Type: Scholarship

For: Rural tourism professionals

Amount: Up to $500 per application

Application period: Winter and summer

OEDIT division: Colorado Tourism Office

To apply for this scholarship, you need to:

  • be a resident of Colorado
  • be involved in the tourism industry
  • not have received a professional development scholarship from the Colorado Tourism Office with 12 months before the application deadline
  • identify a professional development opportunity that takes places before the application deadline

Eligible expenses include:

  • full or partial registration to attend a tourism-related conference, course, or training (not including the Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference)
  • lodging and mileage

 Applications are not currently being accepted. Please sign up for the Colorado Tourism Office email updates to stay informed on this program.

The application period opens twice a year in summer and winter.

Apply online through the OEDIT application portal. Log in or create a new account. New users are manually added to the portal for security reasons, so it may take several days to activate your account.

Application Questions
The questions below are only a reference and do not include all of the information you need to include in the application. For each narrative question response, there is a limit of 2,500 characters including spaces and punctuation.

  • Describe the professional opportunity you wish to pursue.
  • Why are you passionate about the tourism industry in rural Colorado?
  • How would this professional development opportunity support your tourism-related career goals?
  • How do you hope to use this knowledge to help tourism in your region?
  • Provide a statement of financial need.

Supporting Documents
You will need to provide:

  • a resume
  • one to three letters of support from an associated tourism-related organization/business or an industry colleague

This is a competitive award program, and not all applicants receive the scholarship. A panel of industry partners and Colorado Tourism Office staff reviews applications and recommends awards based on application scores and available funds. The panel reviews applications on these criteria:

Merit (50%)
You will need to show:

  • qualifications, background, and experience of the applicant
  • overall strength of the application request with clear logic and adequate details of past work and needs
  • letters of support

Impact (40%)
You will need to show measurable benefits for the individual and rural Colorado tourism industry.

Financial Need (10%)
You will need to demonstrate a high degree of financial need.

The Colorado Tourism Office will reimburse your for the scholarship amount after you:

  • successfully complete the conference, course, or training
  • submit expense receipts
  • submit a final report that the Colorado Tourism Office reviews and accepts

Reimbursement Request Form (XLS)  

Within 30 days of completing the professional development opportunity, you need to submit:

  • readable invoices, proof of payment, and itemized expense receipts that show the date of the expense
  • a final report to describe what you accomplished with the scholarship

Program Manager

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