Denver Sets New Tourism Record

Denver Skyline

A record 14 million people visited Denver in 2013, spending a record $4 billion, the city's convention and visitors bureau, VISIT DENVER, announced this week. The former represents an increase of 3 percent of 2012 and the latter an increase of 12 percent.

According to VISIT DENVER President and CEO Richard Scharf, the increases are owed mostly to "marketable" leisure travelers - people who could visit any destination, but chose to visit Denver. Those visitors were 13 percent to a record high of 5.5 million people.

"It's exciting to see that our marketing efforts are working and we are continuing to drive new lucrative 'marketable' visitors to Denver," Scharf said in a statement. "Tourism and conventions don't just happen … Since 2005 when voters approved more marketing dollars for Denver, we have seen a 48 percent increase in the number of leisure visitors coming to our city."

The surge in leisure travel was tempered slightly by flat growth in convention and business travel.