Special Alert
Tourism Pays for Denver & Colorado
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Tourism Pays

Tourism Pays for Denver and Colorado. Tourism is the second largest industry in the City & County of Denver, and in the State of Colorado. Visitors stimulate the local economy and benefit hotels, meeting facilities, attractions, restaurants, cultural institutions, tour companies, transportation providers, local farmers, and countless other businesses.


Denver Jobs: Tourism employs 50,000 people in the Denver metro area

Economic Impact: Overnight visitors to Denver generated $4 billion in spending in 2013.

Denver Taxes:  Revenue generated by visitors saves every family of four $757 per year.

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Colorado Jobs: Tourism employs nearly 144,600 people in Colorado.

Economic Impact: Visitors to Colorado generated nearly $17 billion in direct spending in 2012.

Colorado Taxes: Revenue generated by visitors saves every Colorado household $757 per year.

Learn more about why tourism pays for Colorado


Tourism Facts


  • Denver had a record 14 million total overnight visitors in 2013, up 3% over 13.6 million in 2012.
  • A healthy tourism economy is built and supported by Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) such as VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, that use a portion of the local Lodger's tax and private membership dollars to market Denver as a visitors' destination.
  • Without dedicated funding from local and state governments to promote tourism, its economy shrinks - fewer people come to Denver, reducing the money that enters our economy.

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  • Colorado welcomed a record 31 million visitors in 2013, including 31 million overnight visitors and 30.7 million day trip visitors. There were also a record of 33.6 million day trips in 2013. 
  • Overnight visitors to Colorado generated nearly $10.4 billion in spending in 2013, up 8 percent over 2012.
  • Direct-travel spending supported 144,600 jobs.
  • Colorado's travel industry generated over $918 million in local and state tax revenues during the 2012 calendar year.
  • This represents approximately $757 of tax revenue per household in the state.

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The Power of Travel

  • The U.S. travel industry directly employs 7.4 million people and generates a payroll of $178 billion and tax revenues of about $118 billion.
  • The U.S. Travel Association ranks travel fifth among the top 20 major private industry sectors.
  • Visitors to the U.S. spent more here than residents traveling abroad, creating a positive balance of trade of $32 billion for the national economy. Travel expenditures within the U.S. total $134 billion.

Learn more about the national impact of travel

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