Biz: Denver's Record Setting Tourism Industry

June 23 2014, 2:00 PM

No matter the season, if you picture tourism in Colorado you probably think of visitors landing at Denver International Airport, and winding their way along I-70 into the Rocky Mountains. Denver, however, continues to become an increasingly attractive destination for tourists, according to a new report commissioned by Visit Denver, the tourism and marketing arm of the city. Last year, according the report, Denver visitors spent a record $4 billion in the Mile High City, a figure that has nearly doubled since 2005. “It’s exciting to see that our marketing efforts are working and we are continuing to drive new lucrative ‘marketable’ visitors to Denver,” said Richard Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver, in a press release. “Tourism and conventions don’t just happen."

Here, a look at the numbers from the new report. 

  • 14 million: Overnight visitors in 2013, a three percent increase over the previous year. 
  • $4 billion: Amount visitors spent in 2013, a 12 percent increase over the previous year. 
  • 2 percent: The decrease in the number of Denver visitors who traveled to the city to see friends and family, which the report indicates mirrors a national trend. 
  • $1.1 billion: The amount visitors spent on transportation-related purchases, such as gas and car rentals.
  • $549 million: The amount spent on retail purchases. 
  • 3.2 days: The average number of nights that visitors spent in the city, down slightly from 3.4 days in 2012.
  • 30 percent: The percentage of tourists who visited Denver for the first time. 

—Image courtesy of Shutterstock