The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) has announced the seven recipients of its Tourism Recovery Marketing Grant including two destinations, Colorado Springs and Aurora, that received funding related to meetings and events.
A total of $1.8 million will be distributed through the program with the goal of supporting the economic recovery of the travel and tourism industry and attracting visitors to Colorado cities and towns that are still recovering from the COVID pandemic. The one-time grant was funded through an EDA American Rescue Plan: Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation State Grant and is dedicated to the execution of tourism marketing and promotional campaigns.
Visit Colorado Springs was awarded $400,000 to support a meetings and events marketing campaign highlighting the Olympic City USA brand to generate awareness of the unique options for meetings and events held in Colorado’s second largest city. The campaign will target meeting planners through a multimedia approach including programmatic digital placements, social media, print magazines, destination site visits, and trade show attendance.
“While leisure travel recovery has been successful in the Pikes Peak Region, recovery for meetings and events has lagged behind,” says Visit Colorado Springs President and CEO Doug Price. “Receiving these grant funds gives us the resources for recovery of our business travel market by leveraging our strong Olympic City USA brand and emphasizing our unique venues.”
Visit Aurora also received $400,000 to inspire, engage, and convert meeting, convention, and group bookings in Aurora, Colorado’s third largest city. The marketing campaign will take a multichannel approach utilizing search, native, programmatic, display, digital, and print insertions in high-yield outlets. The primary target will be meeting planners and C-suite executives from association, corporate, government, contract, and SMERF groups (social, military, education, religious, and fraternal) to drive and convert business at Aurora venues.
"We are thrilled at the opportunity this grant provides to further our mission to amplify Aurora as a premiere destination for business events and leisure,” says Bruce Dalton, CEO and president of Visit Aurora. “As we emerge from challenging times, proactive investment in our vital destination marketing organizations uplifts our entire state.”
The other five communities and counties receiving this funding include Denver, Fort Collins, La Junta, Logan County, and Loveland. Recipients have up to two years from the grant award date to execute their projects.