June 9 2010, 12:43 PM
Despite a 13 percent drop in business trips to Colorado last year, Canada-based Longwoods International, which analyzes the state's travel market, has reported gains for tourism in what was a dusty year for suitcases everywhere. Leisure (aka pleasure) visits to Colorado "strangely were up, for both the state and for Denver," Longwoods' Michael Erdman tells 9News. "You [Colorado] fared really very well on your pleasure side." Some 51.7 million trips were made to the state in 2009, and of those including a stay of at least one night, 48 percent were considered "marketable pleasure trips," 39 percent were visits to relatives, and 13 percent were strictly business. Thus, the Denver Business Journal notes, "Colorado bucked a national trend." In other words, when times are tough, Colorado is a go-to escape for some R&R. Still, tourists lingered for fewer days and spent less money overall than in 2008. But, there's apparently a staycation factor at work here, too. One reason for the spending decline: More people taking trips in Colorado---40 percent---were state residents.