The Colorado Tourism Office has created a campaign urging out-of-state travelers to not visit Colorado this summer.
"This is the first time we've actually launched a campaign telling people not to come," said Cathy Ritter, Director of the Colorado Tourism Office.
The announcement will hurt the Colorado Springs area, where it's the third largest industry and the employer of nearly 175,000 people.
"It generated 1.37 billion in state and local tax revenues, so it's a huge source of income for communities across the state," Ritter said.
There is no date on when the office expects out-of-state tourists will be invited back. Until then, it has asked travelers to share their past travel moments to Colorado via social media using #WAITINGTOCO.
"They can share their pretend Colorado travel experiences while they're waiting until it's safe to travel," she said.
With tourism being a big part of local economies in the summer months, the office is anticipating a major loss of revenue. For the week of April 18, the Colorado Tourism Office reported travel spending in Colorado was down 89% compared with the same week in 2019.
Alexea Veneracion, with Visit Colorado Springs, says the city is taking part in “wait, ready, set and go" reopening phases developed by the state tourism office.
She says the phases depend on the social distancing requirements. We're currently in a "wait" phase.
When tourism finally resumes, Ritter says the first wave of travelers will be in-state residents and then likely followed by people who are driving in from out of state.