The Colorado Tourism Office, partnering with Visit Telluride and Visit Denver, held a series of travel trade events last week as the state tourism board gears up for Australians heading back to the USA.
Starting in Adelaide, Colorado Tourism Office engaged with travel agents in a training evening at Prohibition Gin, leading a cocktail masterclass in which agents recreated a signature Telluride cocktail, The Grapefruit, as served in There Bar.
Following Adelaide, the delegation hosted a series of events in Byron Bay, Brisbane and Melbourne, before ending the week in Sydney, where LATTE participated in exclusive media lunch at Bentley Restaurant & Bar to catch up on all the latest news.
Pre-COVID, Australia was a key growth market for Colorado, with visitation increasing year-round and the average length of stay and spend in-destination being among the highest. Since the pandemic began the state has welcomed the Rocky Mountaineer’s first USA route, Rockies to the Red Rocks, running between Denver and Moab with an overnight stay in Glenwood Springs.
The tourism office has made significant progress in encouraging sustainable tourism with a ‘Do Colorado Right’ campaign, as well as readying its byways for electric vehicles with the aim of all 26 scenic and historic byways being ‘electrified’.
While Colorado has been on the ski radar of Aussie travellers for decades, there is much more to explore year-round. From its historic and scenic rail journeys to hiking and biking the mountains, exploring the Wild West towns and experiencing the pioneering culture across the state’s cities, Colorado boasts: four national parks, 28 ski areas, 1500 ghost towns, 360 working breweries, 30+ dude and guest ranches, 29 hot springs and much more.
Andrea Blankenship, International Tourism Director of Colorado Tourism Office said “Australia’s love for Colorado started with winter and in the past decade we’ve seen visitors from
Down Under heading to Colorado in the summer months in equal numbers, as road trips, cultural experiences and hiking/biking adventures on offer across the state are embraced.
“Last year visitation numbers increased 23% and spend increased 26% over 2020.
“Whilst European and Asia-Pacific visitors were unable to return, Mexico represented 54% of the state’s visitation and doubled their numbers and spend in 2021 which we attribute to Colorado’s wide-open spaces and outdoor adventure opportunities. We look forward to visitors from Down Under joining the start of the rebound in 2022!”
Australians visiting Colorado can fly via Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston and Dallas/Fort Worth, which all have connections through Denver.
Lead image: Liz Birdsall, Millie, Browne, Andrea Blankenship and Kylee Kay, all Colorado Tourism Office, with Tom Watkinson from Visit Telluride.