Tourism Partner Resource Guide

Tourism Partner Resource Guide

The Colorado Tourism Office Partner Resource Guide helps you fully leverage the resources of the Colorado Tourism Office and maximize your exposure to visitors. By working together, we can build the strength of our industry and attract travelers who share our values and will help our state thrive.

The guide is organized in five phases:

  1. Get Started
  2. Reach Higher
  3. Think Bigger
  4. See Further
  5. Maximize

Phase 1: Get Started

Check out oedit.colorado.gov/tourism

At oedit.colorado.gov/tourism, find the Colorado Tourism Office's key initiatives, board and team member information, research and report statistics, industry toolkits, and program information. This is your first stop for information about our programs, upcoming events and meetings, and grants.

Stay up to date with ‘What’s open in Colorado?’

What’s Open in Colorado makes sure travelers and travel professionals have access to the latest Colorado travel information. We rely on people like you, our partners, to help us keep this travel tool up-to-date.

Explore Colorado.com

Colorado is promoted to travelers through domestic and international marketing, national public relations outreach, social media, the Official State Vacation Guide, and Colorado.com. The Colorado Tourism Office provides traveler services at Colorado Welcome Centers and through 1-800-COLORADO. The state’s website is one of the most visited state tourism websites in the country.

Sign up for industry newsletters and communications

The Colorado Connection is the monthly voice of the Colorado Tourism Office. Stay up-to-date on news, events, initiatives, comings and goings, ways to get involved, and much more. Our public relations team also produces a monthly newsletter, The Hot Sheet, to keep current on media opportunities, recent media highlights, requests for information, and more. 

You can also opt-in to receive the Colorado Tourism Office's weekly newsletter, Tourism Tuesday. Distributed Tuesday mornings, these newsletters contain timely updates about Colorado Tourism Office programs and other pertinent tourism industry updates.

Follow the Colorado Tourism Buzz on Facebook

Become a fan of our industry Facebook page to stay up to the minute on happenings and insights about Colorado tourism. 

Join the Colorado Tourism Exchange

Request access to join the private Facebook group Colorado Tourism Exchange. Interact with your tourism colleagues around the state to share news, post job openings, and ask questions in a contained forum.

Contact the Colorado Tourism Office

Are you a new business, attraction, or destination management organization representative? Introduce yourself and connect to the Manager of Industry Partnerships Emily Haddaway. This Colorado Tourism Office representative can answer questions and facilitate connections with relevant resources.

Reach out to your local chamber, CVB, or DMO

Familiarizing yourself with your local chamber, convention, and visitors bureau (CVB) or destination marketing organization will help you gain additional insight into how they support and promote travel in your area and how you can work with them. Check out our full list of partners here. 

Create free business or event listings on Colorado.com

Any tourism-related business or organization in Colorado can sign up for free listings on Colorado.com. To submit a listing for a business, special offer, or event, you must first create an Industry Partner account. Please reference the Business Listing Rules for guidelines and listing specifications. 

Attend the annual Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference

The annual Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference, presented by the Colorado Tourism Office, is the premier education and networking event for members of the Colorado travel industry. It offers an ideal environment for tourism experts and industry leaders to build upon past successes and discuss future directions. Scholarships are available for first-time attendees.

Distribute brochures at Colorado Welcome Centers

Our ten Colorado Welcome Centers greet more than 900,000 visitors annually. Through the Colorado destinations and attractions may submit brochures and other collateral for distribution free of charge to Colorado visitors. All materials must comply with Colorado Tourism Office guidelines.

Join the Tourism Industry Association of Colorado and the Colorado Association of Destination Marketing Organizations

Tourism Industry Association of Colorado (TIAC) is a non-profit advocacy association that shares a unified voice for tourism-related organizations and associations. TIAC members include associations representing restaurants, lodging, dude ranches, bureaus, the gaming industry, the ski industry, outdoor and cultural attractions, river outfitters, and campgrounds. Read through the Tourism Legislator Support Toolkit to learn more.

Colorado Association of Destination Marketing Organizations (CADMO) is a nonprofit organized to enhance and support the destination marketing organization industry in Colorado. Its membership includes about 30 destination management organizations.

We rely on these associations and organizations to represent thousands of businesses across the state and advocate for a strong tourism industry. Email TIAC and CADMO Administrator Vicky Nash to learn more.

Become a Colorado Concierge

The Colorado Concierge program is a free resource for all Colorado businesses to coach their frontline workers into being Colorado experts and develop their ability to deliver Colorado-style hospitality. The ultimate goal is to build a statewide community of visitor-friendly ambassadors who can answer the question "What's there to do around here?" People who can answer this question will be able to create better experiences for travelers, point them to lesser-known destinations, and even coach them on how to reduce their impact on Colorado’s resources and protect others from harm. Take the training.

Connect with the CTO Destination Development team

Our Destination Development team supports Colorado tourism industry partners in the development and promotion of visitor experiences that align with their competitive advantage as a destination and help protect their unique sense of place. Various resources and opportunities are available throughout the year that they can connect you with depending on your current needs. Email the Director of Destination Development Andrew Grossmann or Senior Manager of Grant Programs Elizabeth O'Rear to introduce yourself and start a conversation about current opportunities.

Apply for a Scholarship as a First-Time Attendee to Gov Con

The Colorado Tourism Office provides scholarships to the Governor's Tourism Conference to first-time attendees. The office provides scholarships to both students and professionals with a dedication to Colorado tourism. The scholarship includes conference registration and reimbursement for lodging and travel expenses.

Apply for the Student Scholarship or the Professional Scholarship.

Conduct an audit

Conducting an audit that analyzes your marketing initiatives and creatives is important because it gives insight into its effectiveness. It also allows you to determine where you should allocate your budget and maximize return on investment.

Set up social media channels for your business or office

Develop a social strategy that reaches your target audiences through the most effective and efficient social platforms. No strategy yet? This article can help guide your organization or business in creating a plan. Keep in mind if you’re not seasoned in social strategy or content development, consider pulling in expert resources or doing some additional reading on the topic. Also, be sure to follow Visit Colorado on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and use #ColoradoLive in your social media outreach.

Phase 2: Reach Higher

Build local and regional itineraries

The Colorado Tourism Office created the Colo-Road Trips microsite on Colorado.com to provide travelers with inspiration for multi-day trips throughout the state. Each Colo-Road Trips itinerary offers insider travel tips as well as places to go, eat and sleep along less-explored paths through our spectacular state. You can promote your community or region by creating and sharing itineraries that follow our tried-and-true 3-3-1 strategy for itinerary building. Read the Colo-Road Trips Toolkit to learn how to create an itinerary for free.

Familiarize yourself with tourism data and research

The Colorado Tourism Office supports an annual research program with industry-leading research firms. In the annual Dean Runyan Associates report, you can find the latest economic impact data for traveler spending, including county-by-county breakdowns for jobs, business earnings, and local and state tax generation. The Longwoods International annual report shares deep insight into the travelers who came to Colorado during the prior year. 

Utilize Colorado Tourism Office toolkits

Learn how to take part in Colorado Tourism Office initiatives or access free marketing tips, crisis communication guides, and more through the Colorado Tourism Industry Toolkits. New toolkits are added periodically, so check back frequently.

Apply to participate in the Colorado Rural Academy For Tourism (CRAFT)

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 to increase traveler spending.

Several CRAFT programs are available for tourism entities in Colorado to develop shared visions for advancing tourism, receive consulting to advance tourism strategies, and access implementation funding grants to fund local tourism projects.

Participate in our marketing and social co-ops

Through our vendor relationships, the Colorado Tourism Office offers co-operative marketing opportunities for paid media, social media, and user-generated content acquisition. A co-op is a co-branded program that promotes your destination as well as the state of Colorado. Financial support is contributed by both parties, amplifying your marketing dollars, and reach. Learn more about the Paid Social Media Co-op and the Paid Media Co-op.

Add the Colorado Tourism Office public relations team to your distribution lists

The Colorado Tourism Office public relations team proactively pitches stories about travel trends and news from across the state and appreciates industry partners sending unique story angles, press releases, and news on a regular basis. Email the Colorado Tourism Office Communications Manager Abby Leeper to get connected.

Share content with the Colorado Tourism Office for social media use

Share photos of your business or destination on the Visit Colorado Facebook page and other social channels. With a combined following of over a million users across its social channels, the Colorado Tourism Office can help spread your message to future visitors. Send photos, news stories, or articles to our Social Media Strategist Dave Fluegge to be considered for social sharing.

Utilize Colorado Tourism Office marketing and advertising opportunities

Target your advertising to a highly qualified group of Colorado travelers by sharing your message on Colorado Tourism Office-owned channels, including Colorado.com, targeted e-newsletters, the Love, Colorado seasonal magazine, and the Official State Vacation Guide.

Visit our Colorado.com Marketing Promotion and Tourism Print Marketing Promotion to learn more about these opportunities.

Phase 3: Think Bigger

Get involved with national associations

By becoming a member of national travel associations, you will gain a greater knowledge of the tourism industry as a whole and will keep your business or community competitive. These associations actively monitor domestic and international industry trends as well as political issues to keep you informed. Consider these to start:

Attend domestic trade shows through Tour Colorado and Destination Colorado

Tour Colorado promotes group tours and packaged travel within and throughout Colorado by being the primary liaison between the suppliers of tour products and professional tour operators looking to purchase these products.

Destination Colorado is a nonprofit organization designed to provide resources and information for meeting and event planners. Among the more than 130 members, you’ll discover the solutions to every planning challenge.

Though both are membership organizations, each receives sponsorship funding from the Colorado Tourism Office and is charged with representing the entire state of Colorado. However, membership allows for participation in trade shows and other events.

Apply for the Colorado Tourism Leadership Journey

The Colorado Tourism Leadership Journey is for aspiring leaders with a demonstrated commitment to a career in the tourism industry and a passion for sharing the Colorado experience. This tuition-based, yearlong program is ideal for high-performing people seeking to advance their effectiveness as tourism leaders. For employers, it offers a cost effective way to develop, reward, and retain top talent. Applications are open starting in April each year.

Apply for Marketing Matching Grant

The Colorado Tourism Office Marketing Matching Grant provides funding to non-profit organizations and municipalities or counties in Colorado. The purpose of the grant is to promote the state or a region as a tourism destination and is intended to increase overnight stays and visitation beyond 50 miles.

Travel regions throughout the state are eligible for these grant dollars, as well as statewide associations, organizations, and other non-profit entities that engage in promoting travel throughout the entire state.M

Host a media or public relations familiarization tour

The Colorado Tourism Office public relations team pitches and hosts about 40 journalists each year to experience Colorado offerings firsthand. These journalists are usually on story assignments or have strong story prospects. While the Colorado Tourism Office typically covers transportation costs for these journalists, we rely heavily on industry partners to assist with itinerary planning, meals, lodging, and activities. The reward is story coverage in top targeted national travel publications. Learn more about Tourism Public Relations Promotion opportunities.

Content creation

Create engaging content for your brand by sponsoring articles and videos on Colorado.com. Learn more about Colorado.com Marketing Promotion opportunities.

Participate in a media reception

The Colorado Tourism Office hosts media receptions each year to gather industry partners and local journalists to discuss the state’s latest news and story angles. Each reception is attended by about 20 industry partners and over 30 Colorado journalists and is a great networking opportunity. Learn more about Tourism Public Relations Promotion opportunities.

Build your lodging inventory for international travelers

Receptive tour operators are local wholesalers of tourism products who create packages to market to tour operators worldwide. These operators play a major role in getting your product into tour itineraries globally, which expands your destination’s reach and audience considerably.

If you are interested in selling to the international market, work with your hotels and lodging properties to partner with an operator to increase international bookings to your destination. For more information, please contact oedit.cto_international@state.co.us to learn more.

Phase 4: See Further

Attend a national industry conference

Get exposure to national experts at a top industry conference. The U.S. Travel Association’s Educational Seminar for Tourism Organizations (ESTO) is the annual educational conference for state and local destinations. Destinations International represents hundreds of city and regional destinations across the US. This organization hosts a multi-day annual educational conference.

While these conferences can be a financial investment, they provide valuable information and connections with your industry peers.

Grow your opt-in database with the Welcome Leads program

Colorado.com visitors who request an Official State Vacation Guide or other marketing materials are directed to a confirmation page where they can elect to receive more information from your business or destination. Once they opt-in, your organization collects their email addresses for use in your own marketing efforts. Learn more about the Welcome Leads program.

Host an international familiarization tour (FAM)

One of the best and least expensive ways of being involved with international tourism is hosting international media and travel trade familiarization tour. Contact oedit.cto_international@state.co.us to learn more.

Translate your promotional materials into other languages

Translate marketing materials for use at international trade shows, sales calls, and fulfillment of information requests. The Colorado Tourism Office's international representatives can translate your pieces for you at a discounted rate. For more information, email the international team at oedit.cto_international@state.co.us.

Consider US-based international trade shows

Attend a US-based international trade show. These include the Go West Summit, Connect Marketplace, or North American Journey’s Receptive Tour Operator Marketplace. For more information, email the international team at oedit.cto_international@state.co.us

Phase 5: Maximize

Get involved with international co-ops

We provide a variety of international co-op opportunities with major tour operators through our international representatives. Offerings change annually, please reach out to oedit.cto_international@state.co.us for current options.

Get involved with Brand USA partnerships

We provide a variety of co-op opportunities through Brand USA (the USA’s Destination Marketing Organization) for partners around the state. Learn more about the Brand USA Marketing Program.

Join the Colorado Tourism Office’s booth for an international trade show

The Colorado Tourism Office arranges for booths at major international trade shows and offers destination partner participation to create a unified presence for Colorado. Participation is limited.

Shows include:

IPW, the USA’s largest international travel trade show, is hosted by the U.S. Travel Association. IPW takes place each year in May or June and brings together 1,300 international tour operators, 600 international journalists, and more than 3,000 U.S. suppliers to transact billions of dollars of business in a meeting format. The US location changes from year to year.

ITB Berlin is Europe’s largest travel trade show and brings global destinations together with European tour operators in three days of meetings, and the following weekend is open to the public. ITB takes place in March in Berlin.

World Travel Market takes place in November in London, bringing together top UK-based tour operators and media with suppliers from all over the world. Business is transacted over three days of meetings between suppliers, media, and tour operators.

Contact