Travel spending increased by 6.5% last year in Colorado

Last week the Colorado Tourism Office announced that 84.7 million US travelers and just under a 1 million international visitors spent an all-time record $20.9 billion across the state in 2017. That number is excepted to increase again this year. 2017 marks an 8-year streak of record-breaking tourism revenue growth.

I got to experience some of this first-hand back in early June. My friend from Kansas City brought his whole family out to Colorado to celebrate his son's college graduation and his sister's birthday. They secured themselves a cool 5-bedroom condo in Mountain Village next door to Telluride. They spent a considerable amount of money on their week-long vacation. They invited me over for a weekend during the Telluride Balloon Festival.

Statewide travel spending increased by 6.5% in 2017. That's more than twice the national average. More people are visiting Colorado than ever. Locally, Country Jam is a giant boost to the economy. Late summer's annual Colorado Mountain Wine Festival is another.

The 5 most popular activities are visiting a national or state park, hiking, backpacking, visiting a landmark, and fine dining. Perhaps no place can rival this state when it comes to those activities. With metro areas offering the hotels and great food, the endless hiking, biking trails, and with the parks not far from town it makes getting all of those in one vacation possible here in Colorado.

The number of visitors traveling together increased slightly too. The average travel party size in 2017 was 3 people, that's slightly larger than the national average of 2.8.

Credit: The Gazette