A study paid for by the Colorado Tourism Office presents evidence that marijuana is playing a larger and larger role in attracting tourists to the state, The Denver Post reports.
Marijuana businesses have been arguing as much for years, but state tourism officials had maintained that the recent bump in the number of visitors to the state — breaking multiple records in the past two years — was due solely to innovative tourism marketing moves, such as the state’s “Come To Life” ad campaign.
Surveys conducted in October and November, though, which account for the percentage of potential tourists that could have seen the ad campaign, show that some 49 percent of tourism decisions were influenced by the state’s marijuana laws.
Despite this, the survey doesn’t account for any potential loss of tourism due to the state’s marijuana laws. Furthermore, only 8 percent of survey respondents said they had visited pot shops — although of this 8 percent, 85 percent said that marijuana was a primary motivating factor in their decision to visit Colorado.
Denise Miller, director of tourism surveys for Strategic Marketing and Research Insights, said in her presentation to the tourism office:
“I think definitely the laws are having an influence when people are considering Colorado. We can see that it’s still not a large percentage in terms of what people are doing, but it’s become more of a motivator for those who want to do it… It’s certainly having some influence — both, I think, positive and negative — on that decision process.”
Photo Credit: Zach Dischner