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 had a record 16.4 million total overnight visitors in 2015, up 6 percent over the 15.4 million in 2014.

  • Denver visitors generated a total of $5 billion in spending in 2015, up 9 percent from $4.6 billion in 2014.

  • Tourism supports nearly 55,000 jobs in metro Denver.

  • Tourism saves every metro Denver household $492 annually in taxes (this is the amount of tax dollars residents would have to pay if not for the more than $494 million in state and local taxes paid annually by visitors).

  • Lodging expenditures in 2015 accounted for $1.5 billion in visitor spending, while overnight visitors spent an additional $1 billion in Denver's food and beverage establishments

  • Expenditures by overnight visitors on transportation in Denver, including gas and car rentals, totaled $1.5 billion in 2015, and purchases at retail stores totaled approximately $627 million.

  • Overnight visitors spent $437 million last year at Denver's paid attractions and on 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. They spend an average of $136 per day, while business travelers spend $149 per day, much more than the $71 per day spent by people staying with friends and relatives, and the $66 per day spent by day visitors. 

Sources: Dean Runyan Associates, Colorado Travel Impacts 1996-2015; Longwoods International, Travel Year 2015