A stronger economy, efforts to improve air service and effective marketing combined to make 2015 a banner year for Pikes Peak region tourism, as a record number of visitors spent a record amount at hotels, restaurants and attractions, a study by a travel and tourism research firm shows.
The study, by Canadian-based Longwoods International, confirms what local tourism officials had heard anecdotally from industry members, said Doug Price, president and CEO of the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Now, based on what they're hearing from industry members this year, and with city lodging and auto rental tax collections up by more than 15 percent through September and serving as a strong indicator, tourism officials expect 2016 to set more records, Price said.Improved local, state and national economies have helped make business and leisure travel a priority for many people.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Springs Airport has sought to attract more flights by lowering costs that airline operating costs and by offering more passenger amenities, such as a premier lounge for frequent fliers and free holiday parking. While those efforts didn't necessarily pay off last year, Frontier Airlines' return to the Springs Airport this year is helping to boost boardings.
At the same time, Price said marketing efforts locally and by the Colorado Tourism Office also are paying off. The boost in local tourism activity has tracked closely with statewide trends, he said.
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