Tourism Management Grant

The Colorado Tourism Office’s Tourism Management Grant provides funding for tourism-related projects that develop, enhance, or manage visitor experience in Colorado.

The maximum grant amount is $20,000 and the required match is 4:1. For every $1 the qualifying grantee allocates to the proposed project, the Colorado Tourism Office will provide $4 in matching funds. For example, if your total project budget is $25,000, you can request a $20,000 grant and you will need to provide the remaining $5,000 as a cash match.

Follow this link to learn more about the FY23 Tourism Management Grant recipients

The Tourism Management Grant application window is now closed.


Type: Grant

For: jurisdictional lodging tax recipients, destination tourism leadership organizations, non-profit tourism industry associations, government entities

Amount: Up to $20,000

Application period: January to March

OEDIT division: Colorado Tourism Office

Only one application per Colorado destination organization or Colorado tourism industry association will be accepted for the Tourism Management Grant.

Eligible applicants include:

  • Colorado destination organizations
    • recipients of jurisdictional lodging taxes, such as: 
      • destination marketing organizations 
      • lodging tax boards, committees, or panels 
  • other tourism leadership organizations that are responsible for developing, promoting, and managing tourism on behalf of a destination, such as: 
    • chambers of commerce or chamber resort associations 
  • Colorado tourism industry associations
    • registered nonprofit trade organizations that represent a collection of tourism businesses within one or more tourism-related business sectors
      • nonprofit trade organizations that do not represent tourism-related business sectors or that provide services only to individuals, though critically important, are not the intended recipients of these programs
  • government entities in Colorado (state entities, local governments, and federally recognized tribes) engaged in tourism promotion, development, and management

Ineligible applicants include:

  • for-profit organizations
  • individual attractions, museums, or businesses

Entities that failed to fulfill Colorado Tourism Office grant award requirements within the past twelve (12) months may be deemed ineligible.

The applicant can financially match the project cost at a higher amount if the cost exceeds grant dollar limitations.

Eligible projects

Eligible projects advance the development, enhancement or management of visitor experience in Colorado. Funding will only be awarded to projects that can be completed within a twelve (12) month period between May 1, 2023 and April 30, 2024.

Eligible use of funds for Tourism Management Grants

Eligible projects must support one or more of the eligible use of funds detailed below:

  1. Tourism product development (e.g., inclusive travel offerings, bicycle tourism guides, food and farm trails, stargazing, travel philanthropy programs)
  2. Visitor education programs (e.g., Do Colorado Right, trailhead ambassador program)
  3. Tourism workforce development (e.g., frontline staff training programs, skills-based training programs)
  4. Tourism-related strategic planning (e.g., stakeholder and resident engagement, destination management plans)
  5. Tourism research (e.g., feasibility studies, economic impact reports, visitor profile studies)
  6. Infrastructure that directly enhances the visitor experience through increased access or engagement (e.g., wayfinding, educational or interpretive signage, educational kiosks)
    • a letter of support from the property owner or proof that applicant owns the property is required for approval 

Additional consideration will be applied to projects that advance one or more of the secondary criteria below:

  • advance off-peak tourism opportunities 
  • advance tourism workforce 
  • champion the value of tourism 
  • develop and enhance visitor experience 
  • encourage responsible and respectful use 
  • foster inclusive travel opportunities 
  • promote local businesses and experiences 

Ineligible use of funds

  • funding can not be used as a match for larger projects
  • employee salaries, personnel costs, or grant management costs
  • food or alcoholic beverages
  • building construction or maintenance
  • participation at an industry or consumer-related trade show or conference
  • marketing executions specific to a campaign such as media placement, search engine marketing initiatives (see Tourism Marketing Matching Grant)

Applications for the Tourism Management Grant will be available from January 10, 2023 to 4pm (MST) on Thursday, March 2, 2023. 

Applications are now closed. 

The application process is as follows:

  1. Verify your eligibility by reading through the guidelines carefully.
  2. Log in to the OEDIT online portal and create an account. To protect your personal information, users are added manually to the portal, so it may take several days to activate your account. Instructions for navigating the online portal are available here.
  3. Submit your application in the OEDIT application portal. For reference, all application questions can be found in the Tourism Management Grant Application Questions (DOCX). 
  4. Applications will be reviewed by a Colorado Tourism Office evaluation committee.
  5. Status notification approximately three (3) weeks after the application closes.

Supporting documentation

You will need to provide:

  • current Certificate of Good Standing from the Colorado Secretary of State
  • completed tourism management grant budget (XLS)
  • a detailed timeline that includes all milestones and deliverables
  • letter(s) of commitment showing evidence of required cash match - matching dollars may not come from the State’s General Fund or other Colorado Tourism Office funds. Letter(s) of commitment must be on official letterhead and state the amount of cash committed by the organization
  • project support letters – all grant applications need to include at least three letters of support from local Colorado organizations or individuals that will benefit from the results of the project
    • project letters of support are required from property owners (if different than the applicant) that own the location of any proposed infrastructure projects 
    • project letters of support are required from the relevant Colorado land management agencies when proposed projects interface with Colorado public lands

Applications are first vetted through an internal compliance review to ensure eligibility and that all required materials have been submitted. Incomplete applications may be rejected.

The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) will appoint a committee to review eligible applications. Grants will be awarded based on application scores, availability of grant funding, and CTO final approval.

Tourism Management Grant applicants receive decisions in late March.

Reviewers will prioritize applications that include:
  • a proposed project that meets all eligibility requirements, is needed, states clear objectives, and includes attainable deliverables that advance the development, enhancement, or management of visitor experience in Colorado
  • an applicant with a track record of effective work, evident through strong letters of support
  • a well-planned project timeline and budget
  • demonstration that project will advance one or more of the secondary criteria
  • demonstrated need and a strong case for support
The committee will score applications on these criteria:
  • strength of proposed project 
  • ability to advance the secondary criteria 
  • demonstrated need for the project 
  • capacity to implement 
  • quality of budget and timeline 

Once an application is approved, OEDIT must execute a formal grant agreement with the awarded applicant prior to obligating or spending any grant funds. Grant funds will be awarded after the formal grant agreement start date.

Expenses incurred before a formal grant agreement is executed are not allowable expenses.

The Colorado Tourism Office’s goal is to provide grant funds upfront. Funds are subject to approval by the State Controller’s Office yearly, so we may award funds on a reimbursement basis.

Grantees must: 

  • complete your project within the approved timeline and grant agreement date
  • keep the budget updated throughout the lifetime of the grant
  • submit reports as outlined in the grant agreement including a final report describing what was accomplished with the grant funds, a final budget, and documents for expenses incurred including invoices, expense receipts, and proof of payment

Project requirements:

  • CTO grant funds cannot be used as a match for existing or future grant opportunities including CTO co-op marketing opportunities
  • prior to production, publication, placement, and/or distribution, creative assets must be approved by the CTO 
  • all materials that are funded in part by Colorado Tourism Office need to include the official Colorado Tourism Office logo unless otherwise directed by the CTO
  • grantees must submit a formal Proposal Change Form if there is a change to the original proposal
  • any unused grant funds or grant funds not used as approved shall be returned to the Colorado Tourism Office pursuant to the grant agreement.

The following table outlines the timeline for the grants awarded in 2023.

January 10, 2023

Application opens

March 2, 2023

Application closes at 4:00 pm MST

late March 2023

Recipient notification

May 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024

Grant project execution period

November 30, 2023

Interim report due

June 15, 2024

Final report and expense receipts due

Grant Resources:

Tourism Management Grant Recipient Press Release template
Proposal Change Request Form

Other Resources:

CTO Marketing Portal- public use of logo requires CTO approval

The Marketing Portal is a valuable hub where DMOs can access the CTO's marketing assets (including logos, the Brand Book, and toolkits), share their marketing/PR priorities directly with the marketing team, subscribe to newsletters, a calendar of marketing dates, and more.  The Marketing Portal also contains information on the Co-Op program and the ability to apply when applications are open.  

Please note: Each DMO should only have 1 log in because this is tied to your Data Engine account where you manage your listing.  Your username and password for the Marketing Portal are the same as your username and password for the Data Engine. If you forgot your username or password, visit the Marketing Portal, select “Log In to Enter Portal”, and select “Forgot your login/password?”.

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