Updated on June 27, 2022 by Axel Hernborg

Axel Hernborg

Denver is one of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. and has become a burgeoning scene for the arts, culture, and some of the best dining anywhere in the country. Urban explorers are pausing to check out the Mile High City’s unique neighborhoods, boutiques, museums, breweries and so much more.

Denver visitors stimulate the local economy and benefit hotels, meeting facilities, attractions, restaurants, art, and cultural institutions, tour companies, transportation providers, local farmers, and countless other businesses. Tourism also offers many benefits for Denver residents and improves the quality of life for the community.

Here are the top statistics and trends of the Denver tourism industry


  • Denver is known as the Mile High City because its altitude is one mile – 5,280 feet – above sea level. Denver is the only state capitol located at exactly one mile in altitude. 
  • Denver offers over 200 city parks, over 100 miles of trails, and 11 dog parks for people-watching, fitness, and relaxation.
  • There are outdoor festivals nearly every weekend during the spring-fall months. Brewery tours are always popular. Many music venues.
  • Tourism is the second largest industry in Denver.
  • Denver accounts for nearly 25% of travel-related spending Colorado in a normal year,
  • 2019 saw nearly 32 million visitors to the city who spent $7 billion dollars, capping 15 straight years of growth in “marketable” visitors.
  • In 2019, Denver welcomed more than 1.7 million international travelers.
  • International visitors represented nearly 40 percent of total inbound travel to Denver, with the highest volumes from the UK, Germany, France, Italy, and China, respectively.
  • The Convention Sales Department had one of its best years ever in 2019, booking a total of 1,138 future meetings that will draw 435,021 delegates and generate $879 million in future spending. To date, Denver has 1,872 meetings on the books for all future years that will generate an estimated $4 billion in spending.
  • Since 2006, Denver has seen a 64% growth in leisure visits, versus 24% nationally.
  • Denver ranks as one of America’s most walkable cities: it’s ninth out of the country’s 50 largest metro areas.
  • Popular activities in and around the city include all sorts of recreation: in the winter, skiing, or snowboarding at resorts.
  • Denver International Airport (DIA) is the second-largest airport in the world and the largest airport in the United State in terms of area. The airport encompasses 35,000 acres (140 square kilometers) and boasts the longest public use runway in the U.S.
  • The top domestic states visiting Denver are California, Texas, Florida, Illinois, Arizona and New York.
  • Passenger traffic totals at Denver International Airport for 2021 show it’s close to seeing pre-pandemic levels of travel again, but the turmoil of the last two years has altered key dynamics.
  • Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver was named the top-grossing and most-attended concert venue of any size, anywhere in the world for 2021. Red Rocks had 996,570 attendees during the 2021 reporting period, more than any other venue.
  • Denver Red Rocks had a gross ticket revenue of more than $60 million on 134 concerts in 2021, the most of any venue.
  • Colorado tourism suffered a $9 billion loss in 2020. Denver took the hardest hit in 2020, with a 56% decline in traveler spending. 


  • Only about one out of four visitors are making a first-time trip to Denver.
  • Leisure visitors averaged a three-day visit to the city and spent $166 per day.
  • In 2019, Denver discretionary leisure travelers spent an average of $516 per person per trip, compared with $372 nationally.
  • Coloradans were most likely to take a trip of three days or more in Colorado, accounting for 18 percent of these trips in 2019. Also topping the list for extended stays were visitors from Texas, California, Florida, Illinois, and Kansas.


  • Denver International Airport (DEN) is scheduled to have more nonstop international flights and capacity than at any point in the airport’s history. 
  • The Denver Metro lodging market contains 44,437 rooms across 318 hotels.
  • Denver is known for its uncertain weather. Often see all four seasons in a day or week.
  • In the last two years, Denver launched several new nonstop flights to international destinations, including Frankfurt (United), London Heathrow (United), London Gatwick (Norwegian), Paris (Norwegian), Zurich (Edelweiss), and Panama City (Copa).
  • Denver Zoo ranked as the No. 1 paid attraction in Denver, followed by the Denver Art Museum, the Colorado Rockies, Denver Botanical Gardens, and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
  • In 2019, Colorado remained the top U.S. destination for overnight ski trips, capturing 18.2 percent of those trips nationwide.
  • Colorado continues to be viewed as a leader in destination stewardship.
  • In a survey of more than 2,500 winter travelers across the U.S, 81 percent gave Colorado, Alaska, and British Columbia top marks for protecting and preserving natural resources, with a handful of other western states also rated as doing well.
  • Colorado is ranked 78% in visitor satisfaction which ranks above the national average.
  • The state received high ratings for the quality of attractions, accommodations, cleanliness, safety and security, and friendliness.
  • The state welcomed 86.9 million visitors (39.0 million overnight) in 2019.
  • Denver is known as one of the fittest cities in America. Plenty of folks in the city love to stay active by going hiking, biking, and mountain climbing.
  • Colorado’s weather is quite mercurial, especially in Denver. In any given week, there will be 85-degree (Fahrenheit) days followed by blizzards the next. 
  • With the legalization of marijuana in the state of Colorado, Denver has become a popular spot for weed tourism. 
  • One year after legalization in Colorado, a study of visitors found that 4% of people visited the state exclusively for cannabis, 8% shopped at a cannabis retail store, and 23% of visitors were partially motivated to visit the state because of its legalization.
  • Colorado doesn’t require a medical reason to purchase marijuana, tourists can partake as well. But there are still rules.
  • Public cannabis use in any form has been illegal under Colorado law, be it smoking, vaping, or eating. Marijuana consumption isn’t allowed on city-owned parks or property, and vendors are banned from serving or selling any marijuana or THC-infused products at the 4/20 festival.
  • Denver has only one licensed consumption business, a small hangout next to a dispensary in an industrial neighborhood, and most hotels ban smoking of all kinds.