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.
Denver 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 welcomed 17.3 million overnight visitors in 2018, matching the record 2017 totals.
- Overall visitor spending matched 2017’s record numbers, with overnight visitor spending in 2018 again reaching $5.6 billion.
- Tourism supports 60,700 jobs in metro Denver, a 2-percent increase over 2017.
- Tourism saves every metro Denver household $551.44 annually in taxes (this is the amount of tax dollars residents would have to pay if not for the more than $608 million in state and local taxes paid annually by visitors).
- In 2018, Denver visitors spent more than $1.7 billion in Denver hotels and other lodging establishments and a record $1.1 billion on food and beverages.
- Expenditures by visitors on transportation reached nearly $1.6 billion. Purchases at retail stores were $660 million, while overnight vacationers and business travelers spent $535 million on paid attractions and other recreational and sightseeing activities.
- VISIT DENVER focuses its marketing efforts on "marketable visitors," those who respond to marketing messages and have a choice on where they vacation. On average in 2018, the biggest spenders were marketable leisure visitors, who spent $166 per day; followed by business travelers who spent $146 per day, marking the second consecutive year that marketable leisure visitors spent more per day than business travelers. An additional 14 million day visitors spent $919 million.
Sources: Dean Runyan Associates, Colorado Travel Impacts 2000-2018; Longwoods International, Travel Year 2018