The Colorado Springs Gazette editorial: Developing a strong strategy for state’s tourism industry
Author: The Colorado Springs Gazette - May 7, 2017 - Updated: May 7, 2017
A little over a year ago, Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade said that Cathy Ritter would serve as director of the Colorado Tourism Office.
“Cathy’s appointment comes at a time of record growth for our tourism industry, and she’s just the person to take us to the next level,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper, when introducing Ritter. His words have proven to be accurate and prophetic. Colorado’s tourism industry has grown exponentially in the last few years, and the state has become one of the top tourism destinations in the United States. And Ritter has been very busy dealing with planning and developing a vision and mission for the state’s rapidly growing industry.
During a meeting with The Gazette’s editorial board, she outlined a new strategic plan, the Colorado Tourism Roadmap, designed to maximize the state’s tourism potential.
The roadmap has four key pillars: compete, create, steward and advocate.
Ritter explained that Colorado competes with our western neighbors and the rest of the nation for visitors. Our state is the fifth most popular travel destination, one spot higher than it was before Ritter. Her office is working to develop partnerships and programs to generate traffic during off-peak seasons and to showcase less-explored places around the state. A new Colorado Field Guide seeks to highlight locations around the state and allow travelers to select a trip plan that features restaurants, lodging info and activities. The guide is available at Colorado.com/FieldGuide.
The “create” pillar of the strategic plan centers around developing branding and tools for travelers’ experiences, especially in rural areas.