Denver tourism is growing, with a 15 percent increase year-over-year for the city between 2021 and 2022. In 2022, a record 36.3 million visitors visited Denver and the visitors also spent more money in Denver than ever before: generating $9.4 billion in tourism revenue. The previous record, in 2019, was $7 billion spent in one year.
“Tourism continues to be a key economic driver for our city, and we are pleased to see travel demand return in such a big way,” said Richard W. Scharf, president and CEO of Visit Denver, the Convention & Visitors Bureau. “In many regards, travel was a significant bright spot for our local economy in 2022, creating record spending at local businesses, generating millions in state and local taxes, and supporting tens of thousands of jobs.”
Overnight visitors totaled nearly 20 million, a 20 percent rise over the prior year. The domestic overnight leisure market rose by 13 percent over the prior year to a new high of 16.7 million visitors.
“Marketable” visitors increased by 18 percent over 2021, surpassing eight million for the first time. Spending by overnight visitors increased in 2022 to $8 billion, a 45 percent increase over 2021. Among all traveler types, marketable leisure visitors spent the most at $229 per day followed by business travelers at $152 per day.
Visit Denver ran a summer advertising campaign in 2022, and the study found that the campaign generated 1.8 million incremental trips, generating $641 million in incremental visitor spending and $72 million in state and local taxes. Measured against spending, the campaign generated an return on investment (ROI) of $167 in visitor spending and $19 in taxes for every $1 in advertising investment.
The top five states sending vacationers to Denver in 2022, apart from Colorado itself, were:
Top 10 visitor attractions in Denver in 2022 were:
- Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre
- Denver Zoo
- Downtown Aquarium
- Denver Museum of Nature & Science/IMAX Theater
- Denver Botanic Gardens
- Meow Wolf
- Colorado Rockies
- Denver Art Museum
- Denver Performing Arts Complex
- Denver Union Station
The new tourism data was generated by the 2022 Longwoods International annual visitor profile study. Longwoods has been studying Denver visitors since 1994.