DENVER (CBS4) – Images from the massive wildfires in Colorado have been broadcast on TVs all around the world. Many are hoping to lure those visitors who may have decided to skip Colorado during their vacation planning.
“The word has gotten out worldwide and I think there is a misconception of what the reality is,” said Colorado Tourism Office spokesman Al White.
Motel owners in Manitou Springs said tourists initially left because the Waldo Canyon Fire forced everyone out (evacuations were lifted a day or two later) but many others have canceled their upcoming reservations even though the town and the businesses are open for business.
Communities across the state are launching media campaigns, trying to lure tourists back.
This week Colorado Springs launched a social media blitz called “Welcome Back” with beautiful images designed to replace the fire photos of the Waldo Canyon Fire, which become Colorado’s most destructive wildfire after destroying 346 homes.
“The reality is is that Colorado Springs, Estes Park, Fort Collins — they are still marvelous places to go and stay and see and there are many activities that haven’t been hampered at all,” said White.
The Colorado Tourism Office is using the banner “Share the Love” to try to gain a bigger share of the summer tourism dollar.
Colorado will continue airing TV spots in Chicago, Phoenix and Dallas hoping people there realize the majority of the fires have been extinguished, so it’s time to fire up the vacation plans.
“Get to Colorado Springs, get to Estes Park, get to Fort Collins. Have a great time and amaze yourself,” said White.
The hope is that now tourists who took pictures of the fires can start photographing the real beauty of the state.