Visitor Preparedness

Inspire visitors to embrace safe behaviors.

Managing a destination often means managing the ways people visit it or even addressing disrespectful behaviors.

The right kind of education and messaging can go a long way to relieve visitor pressures and even inspire visitors to do the right things and embrace safe behaviors. Better Destinations draws upon deep experience in building collaborations to support powerful messaging and tap into more possibilities for making a difference.

Colorado Backcountry Winter Safety Awareness Campaign

Last winter, faced with a surge of travelers into Colorado's backcountry and limitations on promotion, Cathy Ritter built a coalition of state agencies and outdoor recreation interests in fielding a season-long Colorado Backcountry Winter Safety Awareness campaign. Among the positive outcomes was a finding that no backcountry novices — the target of the campaign — perished in a treacherous year for avalanche.

Central to the campaign was a Backcountry Winter Safety microsite that included a safety pledge, a list of online and in-person safety classes, alerts to danger areas, safety guidance for specific sports and a way to donate to Colorado Search and Rescue operations. The four-month campaign included a :30 video, digital and social messaging and outperformed campaign benchmarks.

The Colorado Backcountry Winter Safety Campaign for the winter of 20/21 was pure and simple a lifesaver and the realization of a new way of thinking about the Colorado outdoor recreation economy. This collaborative campaign, spearheaded by Cathy Ritter, rallied a large and diverse coalition of the outdoor recreation industry around two goals: proactive public outdoor recreation education and protecting the Colorado backcountry search and rescue resources. While Colorado experienced a record-tying year for avalanche deaths, none were from the demographics targeted by the coalition. The obvious success of this approach is now continuing and will likely become a standard of responsible tourism.

Jeff Sparhawk President Colorado Search and Rescue Association

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Create a workforce training program

Responding to a call to turn frontline workers into Colorado experts and improve customer service, Cathy Ritter convened 30 top hospitality leaders. The outcome was Colorado Concierge, offered as a free online training resource for any business.

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