It’s set to be an eventful year ahead for Colorado, with the state gearing up to host the IPW international marketplace in May, and tourism representatives were in Toronto yesterday evening (March 20) to provide Canadian travel media with updates from the ‘Heart of the American West.’
Annika Klint, trade and public relations, Colorado Tourism in Canada, joked that the destination representatives had ‘brought the sun’ to Canada, with the office’s director of international tourism, Andrea Blankenship, noting its range of year-round outdoor activities facilitated by famously pleasant climes.
Andrea Blankenship, director of international tourism, Colorado Tourism
Colorado’s wide variety of scenic locales, Blankenship said, include the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and the iconic Rocky Mountain National Park; Mesa Verde, meanwhile, is one of its most renowned areas of natural beauty, having been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Great San Dunes National Park offers the novel experience of sandboarding down the dunes, and in total, Colorado’s collection of 58 mountains over 4,000 metres in height helps contribute to a distinctive and striking topography.
The state is served by more than 90 distilleries, with a new spirits trail having recently launched; its 330 working breweries and 140 wineries, Blankenship said, make it a paradise for beer and wine connoisseurs, while its 1,500 ghost towns, 30 dude and guest ranches, 30 hot springs and 10,000 km of rivers present ample opportunity for adventure lovers.
‘A skiing mecca’
Unsurprisingly, given its powdery snow and dramatic slopes, Colorado is a haven for ski lovers – with Steven Strecker, marketing director, Colorado Ski Country U.S.A. describing it as a ‘skiing mecca.’
Annika Klint, trade and public relations, Colorado Tourism in Canada
It’s the number one state for skier visits in the U.S., accounting for 30 per cent of all international skiing visits, and Strecker emphasized the importance of Canadian travellers to this success: Canada, he said, is a top five market.
Aside from its skiing opportunities, Colorado offers more than 250 high-altitude golf courses and is also well-known for its white-water rafting and canoeing experiences.
The state enjoys strong lift out of Canada – with non-stop service to Denver from Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver and Edmonton, Blankenship said, allowing Canadians convenient access to the ‘Gateway to the Colorado Rocky Mountains.’