Colorado Tourism Office Launches Destination Stewardship Strategic Planning Initiative
Colorado continues to lead in responsible tourism efforts with the development of statewide and regional destination stewardship plans that focus on resident well-being and the environment
[DENVER, CO, June 21, 2023] — The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) announced the launch of the Colorado Destination Stewardship Strategic Planning Initiative, a year-long process that invites communities around the state to help shape the vision of future tourism in Colorado.
Recognizing the varied tourism-related impacts on communities and the environment statewide, and the importance of tourism to Colorado’s economy, the CTO is taking significant steps to address these challenges and identify opportunities. The CTO’s Destination Stewardship pursuits take a collaborative approach to support our state’s balance of quality of life for residents, alongside the experience for visitors to Colorado, while also enhancing our natural environment, cultures and communities.
“At the Colorado Tourism Office, we welcome our visitors to explore Colorado respectfully and responsibly while balancing the quality of life for residents and quality of experience for the visitors” said Timothy Wolfe, Colorado Tourism Office Director. “Finding this balance is critical for the future of Colorado’s tourism economy, communities, residents and public lands. We are excited to begin this collaborative strategic planning process with partners and residents across the state.”
The Colorado Destination Stewardship Strategic Planning Initiative announced today will develop Destination Stewardship Strategic Plans — a statewide plan and eight regional plans — and an industry Destination Stewardship Glossary of Terms. The highly collaborative planning process is designed to engage and be inclusive of industry stakeholders, partner agencies and organizations, and residents within each of Colorado’s eight travel regions. The plans are intended to build on and complement existing initiatives providing actionable steps and information to achieve several goals including protecting the integrity of Colorado’s natural and cultural resources, advancing inclusiveness and fostering a regenerative and community-focused approach to travel.
The strategic planning effort is being led by the CTO’s Destination Stewardship Department, the first department of its kind within a U.S. state tourism office. Staff are supported by the CTO’s new Destination Stewardship Council, a 27-member advisory group made up of industry thought leaders and experts from across the state. Council members reflect the Colorado Tourism Roadmap 2.0's commitment to collaboration, inclusivity, innovation and leadership. The CTO recruited industry stakeholders and thought leaders to represent a broad set of constituencies and communities whose participation and perspectives will be vital in the pursuit of destination stewardship in Colorado. Colorado’s First Gentleman Marlon Reis is a member of the Destination Stewardship Council.
“The Destination Stewardship Council plays a key role in ensuring that Colorado can protect its wildlife and natural areas, save its cultural assets, maintain its tourism economy, and ensure that visitors and residents continue to enjoy what makes Colorado special for generations — of people and wildlife — to come. I look forward to supporting the Colorado Tourism Office’s important work,” said First Gentleman Reis.
The CTO has retained the global tourism experts at Solimar International, a specialist consulting and marketing firm, to conduct outreach and lead the creation of these plans. Solimar’s team of creative and experienced professionals share a common vision of how sustainable tourism can stimulate economic growth while conserving natural resources and cultural heritage.
“Solimar International is excited to support the Colorado Tourism Office in leading this important industry shift towards destination stewardship and apply a collaborative multi-stakeholder approach to tourism planning and build upon existing work around sustainability that is happening across the state,” said Chris Seek, President and CEO, Solimar International.
The Request For Proposal (RFP) for this project was published on Jan. 24, 2023, with responses collected through Feb. 27, 2023. The contract period for this project is May 2023–June 2024. For more information about the Destination Stewardship Council, please visit this website.
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About the Colorado Tourism Office:
The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) is a division of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade. The mission of the CTO is to empower the tourism industry by inspiring the world to explore Colorado responsibly and respectfully. The CTO seeks to advance the strength and resilience of the entire industry through collaboration, inclusivity, innovation and leadership. In 2021, Colorado travelers spent $22.5 billion, generating $1.5 billion in local and state revenues, reducing the tax burden for every Colorado household by $690. For more information, please visit www.colorado.com.
About Solimar International:
Solimar International’s tourism consulting services focus on delivering innovative tourism assessment, destination development and tourism marketing for clients, which include international development organizations, tourism authorities, national and local governments, conservation organizations, tourism businesses and local communities. Solimar’s team of dedicated tourism specialists understand the importance of market-driven development strategies and have the tools and experience to connect businesses and destinations to international markets. Solimar works in no other industry sector, providing clients with a laser-like focus on the needs of their industry, and the expertise required to address them. For more information, please visit www.solimarinternational.com.