New Colorado Tourism Roadmap and Field Guide
Some of the most compelling insights from our new Colorado Tourism Roadmap are shaping a brand-new statewide initiative aimed at inspiring travelers to explore every corner of our four-corner state.We’re calling it the Colorado Field Guide, but make no mistake. This is no battered, paper-covered manual to stuff inside a backpack. The Colorado Field Guide will be a compilation, not only of insider travel tips, but of compelling itineraries pointing travelers to places to go, eat and sleep along less-explored paths through our spectacular state. And it all will be coming soon on Colorado.com inside a slick new trip-planning tool that will let travelers use our proposed trips as is, modify them or even build their own itinerary from the ground up. And, best of all, they can share these itineraries, whether on Facebook or by email, and even invite their friends to join them in building out their Colorado experience.
In short, it’s a huge collaboration, involving every destination and enlisting even the traveler and their social network in inspiring visitor spending throughout our state in lesser-traveled places and seasons. We hope you’ll join us in making the Field Guide an essential Colorado travel tool.
This big idea started last fall with a request to Karsh Hagan to develop a new travel initiative aimed at driving travel spending in parts of our state that don’t see as many visitors.
This request stemmed from some of the most important lessons from our Roadmap research.
- While our entire state has experienced huge growth in traveler spending over the past five years — at twice the national average — the biggest gains were recorded in the best-known destinations, which also tend to have the largest marketing budgets.
- While our increasingly nationally focused media campaign has attracted far more long-haul visitors across our borders and helped drive big growth in jobs and economic impact, these visitors are more likely to seek out our most popular destinations.
- The people most likely to explore the lesser-known parts of our state are Coloradans, along with residents of our border states.
On top of this, our Roadmap work gave us a new feel for the power of using our heads to create new tourism offerings, like the wildly successful Colorado Historic Hot Springs Loop, which our CTO PR team now has used to generate nearly $4 million in paid media value in top national publications since last summer.
We also were mindful of concerns so many Coloradans have shared about impacts on beloved destinations that were attracting too much traveler love.
Karsh offered up an idea for inspiring Colorado travelers to explore a collection of 100 off-the-beaten-path itineraries. It just so happened that our other major vendor partner, Miles Partnership, was incorporating a new trip-planning tool into a revamp of technology for Colorado.com. It was a perfect marriage of inspiration and technology.
Our Miles UX expert Leisa Cashman Trujillo started working immediately with new vendor partner UTrip to adapt their trip-planning technology to serve up these new itineraries in a compelling new way. We not only will be UTrip’s inaugural state tourism partner, but the first to launch this new version of their technology.
With all united around the goal of continuing to invest our media dollars in the huge economic benefits of a nationally focused campaign, this new initiative will be finding its audience through the proven strength of the CTO’s web, social and PR programs.
Our new Field Guide also will give us a way to showcase important messages for travelers around responsible tourism practices as well as ways they can show their love for Colorado by taking part in new volunteer opportunities or donating to worthy causes like the Fourteener Initiative.