Because the new director of Colorado's tourism company, Cathy Ritter may appear to have the easiest job in state.
After all, Colorado's parks, mountains, skiing resorts, walking trails, views, destinations and restaurants offer themselves. So, Ritter along with her staff need to do a bit more than hand out road maps to throngs of site visitors, appropriate?
Perhaps not hardly. Promoting Colorado is a full-time job that needs strategic preparation and advanced advertising beyond just making sure the state's "Colorful Colorado" indications stay standing.
"Colorado attempted that test once, in 1993, " Ritter stated. "They eliminated all funding for Colorado promotion based on the belief that, 'why tend to be we promoting? People will come here anyhow'."
Condition officials discovered visitor spending dropped 30 percent in that first 12 months and journey to Colorado eroded thereafter, Ritter stated.
"there was a real link between advertising circumstances and producing visitor traffic, " she stated.
Ritter, named tourism manager in November by Gov. John Hickenlooper, spoke Thursday to two dozen Colorado Springs-area people, tourism officials and lawmakers - part of a three-day visit to the Pikes Peak region. The woman journey included stops during the Olympic Training Center, Cheyenne hill Zoo, Air Force Academy, Cripple Creek Heritage Center and Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, among various other destinations.
Ritter, who has a journalism back ground, had been Illinois' tourism manager from 1999 to 2003. She then had been a vacation and tourism consultant, and worked as a marketing and communications government with senior housing and assistance businesses.
In July, she along with her husband relocated to Denver becoming near their child. That's when Ritter saw their state was seeking an upgraded for former tourism director Al White.
Here are some highlights of Ritter's remarks during her talk Thursday and in a job interview using Gazette:
- Colorado continues to have work to do in order to entice site visitors. Research shows Colorado ranks 5th or sixth among says when study participants are asked to name their particular fantasy locations. Yet, the state is 17th in terms of attracting visitors.
Extra capital for condition tourism and local teams including the Colorado Springs Convention and guests Bureau may help close that space, she said. At the same time, Ritter stated she is poised to oppose a legislative proposition that will divert gaming tax incomes from tourism.
- a national springtime and summertime marketing campaign last year aided attract yet another 2.1 million trips to Colorado, which boosted customer investing in state by $2.6 billion.
Generally speaking, the length of tourism? In 2014, an archive 71.3 million Colorado site visitors invested $18.6 billion, generated $1.1 billion in taxation profits and supported over 155, 000 jobs, Ritter stated. "there is certainly a case for the reason why tourism investment is an income center for this state, " she said.
- Ritter would like to develop a three-year strategic plan - with a specialist - to advertise Colorado's tourism business. That work calls for a statewide hearing trip and city hall conferences to gather feedback from vacation officials, entrepreneurs and anyone who has a stake in tourism.
- She wants to explore whether or not the tourism company should consider an in-state campaign to motivate residents to check out Colorado's numerous tourist attractions.
- While there is still much which is as yet not known concerning the effect the legalization of recreational marijuana has already established on tourism, a bit of research implies it's a "ho-hum" concern. Studies reveal 62 % of people say the accessibility to recreational marijuana doesn't affect all of them definitely or negatively about coming to Colorado, she said.
The state should consider performing even more to educate tourists about perceptions regarding Colorado's leisure cannabis legislation. These types of an effort wouldn't advertise marijuana-based travel; it's illegal to take action, and research shows cannabis consumption is compelling only to a small percentage of travelers, she said.
Nevertheless the condition might choose to start thinking about including home elevators its website to notify tourists from what they might expect - including that marijuana usage is unlawful in public areas.