Legal cannabis market does not significantly affect tourism in Colorado

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It has been determined that the sale of recreational cannabis, which was passed in Colorado 2012, has not significantly affected tourism in a positive or negative way.  A new study was conducted by Strategic Marketing and Research Insights. They used the “Come to Life” marketing campaign for Colorado, in which targets people across the country, promoting Colorado as a tourist destination through billboards and other digital, print and television ads.

The research found out of the travels their campaign targeted who were 25 years old or older, 65 percent said cannabis had no influence on their decision to travel to Colorado. Legal cannabis actually affected 14 percent of these travelers negatively, although it didn’t actually deter them from visiting. Twenty-three percent of this targeted audience was positively influenced by legal cannabis, while only four percent of visitors actually visited a dispensary during their trip.

According to Durango Herald, the spokeswoman for the Colorado Tourism Office, Carly Holbrook said, “I wouldn’t say the findings are showing marijuana is having no impact on tourism, I just think it’s less of an impact than what’s been reported,” said Carly Holbrook. This is because in December 2015, there were reports that laws surrounding cannabis influenced summertime visitors an estimated 49 percent of the time. This more in-depth study proved that is not the case.

Instead, the state does have a consistent growth in tourism, year after year, with a 31 percent increase in travelers in Colorado since 2009. While traveling is on the rise throughout the country, Colorado’s increase is about twice the national average for growth.

Cathy Ritter is the Director of the Colorado Tourism Office. She shared with Durango Herald, “The numbers speak for themselves, proving that our state is wise to invest in tourism promotion, and that our innovative marketing initiatives attract visitors who inject more than $1.1 billion into state and local tax

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