Colorado Steps Up Int'l Tourism Promotion

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DENVER -- The Colorado International Marketing Organization was unveiled here, representing the state's first step in reestablishing international tourism marketing. Since the loss of $1 million in annual state funding and the closure of the Colorado Tourism Board in 1993, there had been only a skeletal international marketing presence, officials noted.

CIMO was scheduled to be introduced at the ITB trade show in Berlin by a delegation of about 20 representatives from Denver and other Colorado cities. According to a CIMO spokesman, the delegation would proceed to London after ITB to meet with British Airways officials to discuss new nonstop flights between the U.K. and Denver.

CIMO's base program has a goal of providing a comprehensive marketing foundation in the U.K., Germany and, as funds become available, Latin America. The nonprofit CIMO will have an initial operations budget of $600,000.

"CIMO is really aimed at fixing a long-standing problem," said Barb Jennings, communications director of Colorado Ski Country. "For many years international marketing efforts have been splintered and with no funding available. There are many people out there doing various things, Vail doing something in London, Steamboat doing something with London. But from our perspective, we said, 'Let us come together with some matching funds and promote Colorado/Denver as an ideal destination.' "

According to Jennings, about 9% of total ski visitors to Colorado Ski Country hail from overseas, and that number has been increasing steadily for the past five years. "We hope it will grow even faster as a result of our new marketing under CIMO," Jennings said.

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