Colorado Tourism Office Encourages Residents to Show Their Love for Colorado By Traveling Close to Home

Unprecedented in-state marketing campaign aims at inspiring Coloradans to lift the economy by exploring their state responsibly


June 23, 2020 - “When we hike up our mountains, we lift up our neighbors. When we travel nearby, we help others go farther.

Those lines in a new Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) TV spot  mark a dramatic shift in the state’s strategy for promoting Colorado travel. For the first time ever, the state tourism office is directly targeting in-state residents in hopes of inspiring them to explore their own state and help restore the state’s tourism economy.

The statewide promotion will highlight special offers for destinations across Colorado and encourage residents to dine out and qualify for special prizes through Colorado Restaurant Bingo. The CTO also will unveil a new online guide called “What’s Open in Colorado,” which will provide up-to-date, online information about destination offerings across the state. All can be found at 

“With images of Coloradans dining, checking into a hotel and exploring the great outdoors in our playground of a state, our new TV spot underscores the value of Colorado tourism not just for travelers, but for those whose livelihoods depend upon them,” said CTO Director Cathy Ritter. 

“Especially in these times, when staying local promotes public health, we in Colorado are so fortunate to have world-class travel opportunities in our own backyard,” Ritter said. “We’re calling on Coloradans to step outside, take advantage of great travel experiences right here, and help re-charge our state’s vital tourism economy.” 

Earlier this month, the CTO teed up the campaign by sharing a call for travelers to embrace the state’s new definition of responsible travel – showing care not only for the state’s natural and cultural resources, but for other people through “new normal” health practices.

With Colorado’s Safer at Home policies keeping coronavirus at manageable levels and allowing for limited reopening of key tourism amenities, the CTO has been cleared to resume its promotional efforts, but only to encourage travel within the state. 

Along with energy, the tourism industry has suffered the heaviest impacts from COVID-19 containment, with lost tourism jobs accounting for one-third to one- half of unemployment nationally, according to the U.S. Travel Association. Oxford Economics reports that between March 8 and June 13, Colorado travelers spent just $1.34 billion, down $4.34 billion from the $5.68 billion spent during the same period in 2019. In 2018, Colorado tourism generated $22.3 billion in direct spending, generating $1.37 billion in state and local tax revenues. 

As Colorado takes measured steps to loosen limits on the state’s tourism infrastructure, travel promotion will be critical to the survival of tourism providers who rely on Colorado’s peak summer season to drive revenue. The latest state guidance has reopened a host of summertime pursuits, including whitewater rafting, on-mountain activities, hot springs resorts, museums, zoos, scenic trains and more.

All materials for the CTO’s comprehensive new initiative promoting responsible travel -- including animated videos, a brochure and posters -- are available in a toolkit for use by anyone or any organization in Colorado. The CTO is taking steps to make sure it will be including specific mentions only of destinations signaling that they are ready for visitors.




About the Colorado Tourism Office: The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) is a division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The CTO’s mission is to generate traveler spending through promotion of Colorado as a four-season, four-corner, world-class travel destination and development of compelling, sustainable travel experiences. At last count in 2018, Colorado travelers directly spent $22.3 billion, generating $1.37 billion in local and state revenues. To replace those tax revenues would require $659 from every Colorado household. Tourism is the state’s second-largest employer, directly supporting 174,400 jobs. For more information, please visit