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Jul 03 2017

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Colorado Tourism Office Launches In-State Traveler Initiative

‘Colorado Field Guide’ designed to take Coloradans and visitors to less-traveled areas

The Colorado Tourism Office (CTO) offers a new initiative that is aimed at inspiring travelers to explore the state’s hidden gems and carry their dollars to less-visited destinations in the state.

The new Colorado Field Guide launched with an online collection of three- to seven-day itineraries along with tips on ways travelers can protect the state’s natural resources, whether by traveling like a local or taking part in “voluntourism.”

“While the Colorado Field Guide is available to the millions who visit Colorado.com each year, research is telling us that the people most likely to take a trip to the less-traveled parts of Colorado are Coloradans themselves,” said CTO Director Cathy Ritter. “Given the huge population growth our state has experienced in recent years, we believe there’s a big opportunity to drive rural economic development by inspiring Coloradans to explore their own backyard.”

The itineraries, which include specific recommendations for things to do and places to eat and stay, are housed on Colorado.com in a brand-new trip planner built for Colorado by Utrip, an artificial-intelligence-based destination discovery, and planning platform. Travelers can use an itinerary as is or swap out items to create a customized plan. They can share itineraries and invite friends to help plan the trip through email or social outlets built into the Guide.

The thinking behind the Field Guide grew out of research developed for the new Colorado Tourism Roadmap, a strategic plan aimed at building the Colorado tourism industry’s competitive advantage. In keeping with a new focus on sustainable tourism, the Field Guide is designed to relieve pressure on the state’s most popular sites by guiding travelers to lesser-known spots. The itineraries provide tips on best times to visit and inspire visitors to support the state’s natural beauty, whether through volunteering, donations or embracing behaviors that limit their impact on resources.

To create these “voluntourism” opportunities, the CTO is partnering with other organizations, including Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado, whose #YourCO app is featured on the Field Guide microsite. By downloading the app, travelers and locals alike can complete over 50 do-it-yourself stewardship tasks and earn digital badges qualified for REI discounts.

The Colorado Field Guide introduces more than 30 at the official launch and more to be added over the next year. Available itineraries include:

• “Silver Thread Byway”: Five days in South Fork, Creede & Lake City: Opportunities to survey untamed wilderness, uncover mining history and pursue some iconic outdoor activities.
• “Spirit of the Southwest”: Five days in Durango, Silverton, & Pagosa Springs: In southwest Colorado, everything seems a little heightened: higher mountains, bluer skies and many activities to choose from.
• “Gold Rush Getaways”: Three days in Idaho Springs, Georgetown, Central City & Black Hawk: Find Gold Rush lore, modern-day prospectors, railroad adventure and cooler temps.

To view the Colorado Field Guide, visit fieldguide.colorado.com. For more information or a copy of the 2017 Colorado Official State Vacation Guide, visit www.COLORADO.com or call 1-800-COLORADO.

Photo Credit: Colorado River, ©2016 Kiefer Hamilton

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