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The Colorado Tourism Office recently issued the following press release on the Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference, including the Creative Marketing Campaign award to Vail Resorts for the Vail Mountain 60th Anniversary Campaign:
The Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference, hosted by the Colorado Tourism Office, concluded today in Fort Collins. This conference was a pivotal event for the state’s tourism industry. This annual three-day gathering provided an invaluable opportunity for tourism professionals, community leaders, and stakeholders to come together and share insights. With tourism being a driving force behind Colorado’s economy, the conference attracted over 450 industry professionals, experts and enthusiasts from across the state.
Throughout the event, attendees delved into a diverse range of topics, including crisis communications, destination stewardship, marketing strategies, and international promotions. This year showcased an updated agenda and a new Visitor Services Summit to address the evolving needs of this vital sector within the tourism industry. Interactive workshops focused on leadership development, destination stewardship, DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility), and social media tactics, adding depth to the learning experience. The conference’s keynote speakers, Tony Drees and Erik Hansen, brought a compelling blend of motivation and industry wisdom to the stage. Friday morning featured a Fireside Chat with industry leaders discussing the importance of DEIA in tourism, showcasing success stories and challenges, and inspiring participants to implement similar strategies in their own communities.
“The annual Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference brings together the brightest minds in our state’s travel industry and is a testament to the power of collaboration and innovation,” said Timothy Wolfe, Colorado Tourism Office Director. “This conference stands as a testament to our shared commitment – to furthering strategic growth in the tourism industry, all while embracing our values of responsible tourism, stewardship, inclusivity and leadership.”
Tourism’s profound impact on Colorado’s economic well-being was a central theme throughout the conference. In 2022, travelers in Colorado contributed a staggering $27.7 billion to the state’s economy, generating $1.7 billion in local and state revenues. This substantial revenue not only supported the tourism industry but also alleviated the tax burden for households across the state, reducing it by an impressive $760 per household. Furthermore, the conference underscored the importance of responsible tourism and destination stewardship, areas where Colorado continued to lead within the U.S. tourism industry.
The CTO once again has placed a special emphasis on sustainability, with the conference striving to be a zero-waste event for a second consecutive year. With a diverse and insightful agenda, the Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference, also known as Gov Con 2023, left attendees inspired and equipped with the knowledge and connections to further propel the state’s tourism sector into the future.
“As the Chair of the Colorado Tourism Office Board of Directors, I’m always inspired by the industry’s pursuit of excellence showcased at the annual Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference,” said Bob Stinchcomb, Senior Vice President at Alterra Mountain Company. “The awards ceremony, a culmination of this spirit, spotlights extraordinary endeavors that amplify our state’s allure, underlining our commitment to unforgettable travel experiences.”
Governor Polis kicked off the ceremony by providing remarks about the importance of the tourism industry and presenting the Frontline Tourism Worker Awards. The annual awards dinner took place on Thursday, Sept. 28 and honored individuals and organizations that have greatly contributed to the advancement, creativity and innovation of Colorado’s tourism industry.
The award categories and winners are detailed below.
As the conference closed, the Colorado Tourism Office announced Crested Butte as the host destination of the 2024 Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference. The conference will be held at Crested Butte Mountain Resort & Elevation Hotel on Sept. 25-27, 2024.
For more information about the 2023 Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conference, please visit www.coloradotourismconference.com.