The Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade has confirmed Cathy Ritter will serve as director of the Colorado Tourism Office.
Ritter will take up the role at the start of December.
“Cathy’s appointment comes at a time of record growth for our tourism industry, and she’s just the person to take us to the next level,” said governor John Hickenlooper.
“We are thrilled to have her experience and knowledge on our team. She has been recognised nationwide for her exceptional tourism industry work, and we know she will be a great asset to the state.”
In her role as the Colorado Tourism Director, Ritter will lead the state’s marketing campaign to attract visitors, as well as develop new initiatives to further Colorado’s tourism growth.
The position manages all tourism marketing and promotional functions, promoting Colorado around the globe.
“Colorado is such a hot destination, with so many fascinating and fun experiences for all types of travellers,” Ritter said.
“I’m excited about the opportunities to bring fresh thinking and energy to sharing that message and creating new reasons for travellers to choose Colorado.”
Ritter is a prior director of the Illinois Bureau of Tourism, where she directed planning and implementation of the bureau’s $60 million annual budget, increasing the state’s market share by seven per cent.
In this role, she also managed the state’s tourism marketing message, as well as led state-wide efforts to develop a blueprint to improve Illinois’ competitive position and expand the economic impact of tourism.
Under her tenure, the bureau was honoured for having the best advertising campaign from the Travel Industry Association of America.
“Our nationwide search for the right person to lead Colorado’s tourism effort led us to Cathy Ritter, whose knowledge and expertise in tourism and marketing is incomparable,” said Fiona Arnold, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade.
“Cathy understands innately the leading role tourism has in Colorado and its vital economic impact. She will be a wonderful leader for the Colorado Tourism Office as it continues to deliver the highest quality support for the tourism industry in our state.”
Tourism is a booming industry in Colorado, employing over 150,000 jobs with earnings of more than $5 billion.