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Weekly Research Roundup

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Colorado Tourism Office has kept its pulse on the effects of COVID-19 on our industry, using data insights to navigate a path forward. To help travel economies across the state, the office will share a condensed, Colorado-focused research summary every week. Below is this week's research roundup. 

Travel Data and Research Reports

U.S. Travel and Tourism Economics

  • Total Colorado traveler spending during the weekly research cycle ending December 5th was $257 million compared with $419 million during the same week in 2019. This represents a 38% decrease y/y in traveler spending.
  • Between March 8th and December 12th, total Colorado traveler spending was $8.71 billion, compared with $17.50 billion in 2019. This is a $8.79 billion difference or a 50.2% decrease.
  • Since the beginning of March, the U.S. travel economy’s losses from the COVID-19 pandemic have tallied $500 billion.

**Please note that the data above will now be updated monthly instead of weekly

Ski Area Visitation Trends

  • In partnership with Rove Marketing and Uber Media, U.S. Travel’s exclusive dashboard monitors daily unique mobile devices across various points of interest at sample ski destinations in the U.S.

Destination Analysts Weekly Traveler Survey

  • Americans’ openness to travel inspiration (measuring 6.0 on a scale of 0-10).
  • Those in a travel readiness state-of-mind (58.6%).
  • Excitement levels about travel in 2021 (6.1 on a scale of 0-10).
  • The percent of American travelers who believe the COVID-19 vaccines are safe (67.8%).
  • The percent of American travelers that will be getting vaccinated against COVID-19 (61.4%).
  • The proportion of American travelers who are more optimistic about being able to safely travel in the next six months due to vaccine availability (56.4%).
  • The percent of American travelers saying they have begun planning and booking trips specifically in anticipation of vaccines being available (33.7%).
  • The percent of American travelers who say discounts and price cuts can motivate them to take a trip they had not previously considered (43.0%).
  • The percent of American travelers that said they would be happy if they saw an advertisement promoting their community as a place for tourists to come visit when it is safe (40.3%).

The Harris Poll

  • At the moment, Americans are not comfortable socializing: (62%) are not at all comfortable attending a large sporting event or concert, while (56%) are not comfortable going to an indoor party, (43%) are not comfortable going out to dinner or drinks indoors; and (38%) are not comfortable visiting friends or family without a mask.
  • And a return to normal will rely on comfort in the customer journey, which we are still a long way away from: (56%) are not at all comfortable shopping in a store without a mask, (55%) are not comfortable flying on a plane, (55%) are not comfortable taking public transportation, and (43%) are not comfortable staying in a hotel.
  • But there is some optimism: 4 in 10 (43%) are confident we will reach herd immunity and “return to normal” sometime in the summer 2021. Younger Americans (50% of Gen Z/Millennials and 52% of Gen X) are the most optimistic about a return to normal, while (35%) of Boomers and (31%) are not so confident.
  • And as COVID now rampages through much of rural America, it is Urbanites (54%) who are most optimistic about a return to normal this summer (vs 36% of Rural Americans and 37% of Suburbanites.

Longwoods International Traveler Sentiment Survey

  • According to the most recent Longwoods International tracking study of American travelers, about 50% are planning to visit family and friends on their first trip this year, with the vast majority planning to travel by car.
  • About a third of American travelers expect their first trip of the year to be a leisure/vacation trip.
  • Regarding the timing of 2021 trips, about 40% of American travelers do not plan to hit the road before there is vaccine distribution. Please note that almost half of travelers currently feel safe traveling outside their home communities.
  • A lot of work is still needed to rebuild travelers’ confidence including their perception of safety within and outside their communities. 46% of U.S. travelers feel safe venturing outside of their local communities, up from 39% in November 2020. There was also smaller improvements in the percent of U.S. travelers feeling safe dining or shopping locally (47%) or in support of opening their community to travelers, now at 41%.

MMGY Global & travelhorizons Data

The Overall Traveler Sentiment Score is derived from six variables associated with demand for travel services (interest in travel, time available for travel, personal finances available for travel, perceived affordability of travel, quality of service, and perceived safety of travel). A Traveler Sentiment Score above 100 means the factor is viewed more positively than negatively.

  • The Overall Traveler Sentiment Score (TSS) of those interested in visiting Colorado stands at 96, three points higher than U.S. adults.
  • The highest scoring components that make up the TSS are interest in travel (109), perceived affordability of travel (107), time available for travel (105), and quality of service (104), while the lowest scoring is perceived safety of travel (59).
  • While those interested in visiting Colorado feel more positively about most aspects of travel compared to U.S. adults, they feel less positively than U.S. adults about the perceived safety of travel. 


Data will be updated every Friday. To see the full compilation of national data from US Travel click here. For more information, please contact Jackson Feld at jackson.feld@state.co.us.