Business owners in Colorado have claimed for a while now that legalization of the cannabis drug has improved tourism in the area, but now there is proof.
It has been found in a recent study by the Colorado Tourism Office that many tourists are drawn to Colorado due to its relaxed weed laws and due to the easy accessibility to the substance. For a long time, it had been suggested that the increase in visitors was due to the marketing campaigns put in place, but the study shows that contrary to this belief, the increased marketing spending has not caused the tourism industry to succeed.
Ad Campaign And Marijuana Dispensaries Responsible For Tourism Rise
More than 48% of the time, it was found that tourists cited that Colorado’s relaxed laws on cannabis were the main attraction although the ad campaign has been relatively successful.
Al White, the former boss of the Colorado Tourism office says that the relaxed laws are certainly a significant influence on tourism, although he said that it would be interested to know if the influence was a positive or negative one. Only 8% of those who took the survey said that they had obtained marijuana from a marijuana dispensary.
After having spent $5.3 million to launch their ad campaign, which resulted in 11.1 million households across America seeing the ad, Colorado received around 2.1 million visitors. These leisure tourists brought an estimated $2.6 billion. This is some proof that the advert also helped the tourism trade.
The ad however does not mention marijuana once, although 48% of those who took the survey said that marijuana was influential to a degree.
The legalization of the sale of recreational marijuana was passed on January 1st 2014 and in the first year the same survey was carried out. In that year, 64% of those asked claimed that marijuana had nothing to do with their decision to vacation there. Even those who had traveled due to the relaxed laws in 2014 did not seem to be entirely drawn to Colorado due to the laws. This year, 20% said that they would be more likely to return to Colorado due to the relaxed laws.
Future Looks Promising For Colorado’s Tourism
The increased tourism to Colorado has done wonders for the economy. By increasing the sales of marijuana, the substance continues to pour taxes into the economy. Colorado businesses also benefit from the increased income brought by the additional tourists. It is also evident that the relaxed laws on marijuana have not caused any increase in crime rates. If anything, crime in Colorado has seen a marked improvement. It remains to be seen however, how the increased tourism trade could affect Colorado’s crime levels in the longer term.