City Park in Denver, Colorado

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Tourism Pays for Denver

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, art and cultural institutions, tour companies, transportation providers, local farmers and countless other businesses. Tourism also offers many benefits for Denver residents and improves quality of life for the community.

According to Longwoods International, in 2022, Denver welcomed a record 36.3 million visitors, marking a 15 percent increase over 2021 and surpassing all historic tourism totals by a large margin. A record number of visitors also spent more money in Denver than ever before, generating $9.4 billion in tourism revenue, far beyond the previous record of $7 billion spent in 2019.

Key numbers for 2022 include:

  • Denver welcomed 36.3 million total visitors in 2022, including 19.9 million overnight visitors and 16.4 million day visitors.
  • Overnight leisure visitors totaled 16.7 million in 2022, a 13 percent increase over 2021.
  • There were 8.3 million "marketable" leisure visitors in 2022, an 18 percent increase over 2021. This segment has the most discretion on where to vacation and responds to tourism marketing. This audience is the primary focus of much of VISIT DENVER's marketing efforts and spends more time and money in-market than any other leisure visitor type.
  • Denver visitors spent $9.4 billion in 2022, including $8 billion from overnight visitors and an additional $1.4 billion in spending from day visitors. Total spending increased by 42.5 percent over 2021.
  • Denver overnight visitors spent nearly $2.3 billion on accommodations, and $1.3 billion on food and beverages.
  • Expenditures by overnight visitors on transportation reached nearly $2.7 billion. Retail purchases were $969 million, while overnight visitors spent nearly $685 million on paid attractions and other recreational and sightseeing activities.
  • On average in 2022, the biggest spenders were marketable travelers, who spent $229 per day, followed by business visitors, who spent $152 per day. Day visitors spent $88 per day.
  • Out-of-state overnight leisure travelers comprised 76 percent of visitors.

2022 Tax Saving​s:

  • The average Denver City and County resident saved $805.47 in state and local taxes
  • The average Denver City and County household saved $1830.05 in state and local taxes
  • The average Denver Metro resident saved $280.32 in state and local taxes
  • The average Denver Metro household saved $724.32 in state and local taxes
  • The average Colorado resident saved $291.19 in state and local taxes
  • The average Colorado household saved $763.08 in state and local taxes

Cost-Benefit Analysis

In 2019, VISIT DENVER commissioned Oxford Economics to create a cost-benefit analysis to quantitatively assess the net effect of tourism on the local community. Findings from the Economic Impact of Tourism in Denver 2019 were used to measure the positive impacts of tourism on the City of Denver's finances. The report findings indicated that local governments accrued $589 million as the result of visitor activity in Denver.

The cost-benefit analysis involves the following two components:

  • Examination of the social impacts, which gauges the resident's viewpoint on tourism
  • Quantitative analysis that considers the costs and benefits of tourism from the viewpoint of residents and the City of Denver


  • Denver residents received $2.767 billion of income supported by tourism and suffered $19.7 million in losses due to congestion (i.e. lost fuel or time). Residents therefore received a net benefit of $2.747 billion or $9,333 per household.
  • Denver residents received $140.48 of benefit for every dollar of cost.
  • The City of Denver received $589 million in local taxes supported by tourism and dedicated $130 million to the tourism sector. The City of Denver therefore received a net benefit of $459 million or a benefit of $1,559 per household.
  • For every dollar spent directly on the tourism industry, the City of Denver gained $4.52 in revenue.

Sources: Dean Runyan Associates, Colorado Travel Impacts 2022; Longwoods International, Travel Year 2022; census.govOxford Economics 2019 Economic Impact of Tourism

Business and leisure travelers to Denver are having a positive financial impact locally. Meet some of the business owners and industry professionals who make their living and create jobs through the power of tourism.

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