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Maura Bennett Agritourism is Big Business in Colorado
by Maura Bennett, click here for bio

Program: Colorado Ag Today
Date: July 06, 2018

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We have entered high season for Colorado agritourism.

Courtney Frazier Executive Director of the Colorado Guest and Dude Ranch Association. She says Colorado ranks 4th in the nation for agritourism. 864 farms and ranches open their lands and homes to tourists for overnight stays, educational classes, dining and ranch work programs.

" What this means for the farmers and ranchers is essentially a new revenue stream. It may be adding on to what they're already doing. They may be continuing to harvest their crops and run their ranch and adding a visitor component to that. Or some farmers and ranchers find that this is a great alternative to still utilize their lands and all of their natural resources, their animals and meet some new wonderful people."

The Colorado Tourism Office said that travel spending in Colorado reached an all-time high of $19.7 billion in 2016, with 66 percent of that total from overnight stays in paid accommodations .

Underscoring the importance of tourism for Colorado residents, the state's travel industry generated $1.2 billion in local and state tax revenues in 2016, an increase of 7.3 percent from 2015. That's the equivalent of $216 tax payment from each of Colorado's 5.56 million residents.

According to the state agritourism is a growing economic sector with both in state and out of state visitors playing a vital roles.

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