Durango ranked No. 1 of Colorado’s most popular destinations in 2021, according to data analysis – The Durango Herald

Software that monitors positive and negative reviews on digital media sites shows tourists are happy with their visits

Durango ranked No. 36 on a list of “best of 100” destinations, according to Rachel Brown, the city’s director of tourism. The list was created by analyzing the Tourism Sentiment Index, a data software platform that was launched in 2018 and analyzes billions of online conversations, social media platforms and news reports to assign a score to a given destination. (Jerry McBride/Durango Herald file)

Durango was Colorado’s most popular tourist destination in 2021, according to a data system called the Tourism Sentiment Index that helped analyze more than a billion online conversations, media posts and stories earlier this year. .

Rachel Brown, Executive Director of Visit Durango, shared the news with Durango City Council last week. Not only did Durango rank #1 for Colorado travel destinations, but the city ranked #7 in the United States and World No. 36out of 21,330 participating destinations.

The Tourist Sentiment Index is data software that Visit Durango subscribes to in order to capture “quality of life metrics,” she said. It tracks online conversations, social media websites, and news. It assesses whether destination mentions are positive or negative.

The city outperforms its performance over last year, with an improved index of 31 in the first quarter of 2022 compared to an index of 28 in 2021.

The scores are on a scale of minus 100 to plus 100, so a score of 31 isn’t as bad as it sounds, she said. By comparison, Disneyland in Anaheim, California is in the mid-1940s.

“If you score as high as we do, it means your destination brand promise exceeded visitor expectations and ultimately the destination experience,” she said.

Rachel Welsh, spokesperson for Visit Durango, said the tourism board is proud of its high rating.

“We plan to continue to use feedback from our residents and work with local organizations to ensure Durango and La Plata County is a loved and welcoming destination for all,” she said in an email Tuesday. mail.

Brown joins the board of directors of the Colorado Office of Tourism

In other tourism-related news, Brown was appointed by Gov. Jared Polis to the board of the Colorado Tourism Board to represent the destination marketing industry, she said. The appointment came after Brown received her professional certification in sustainable tourism earlier this year.

“A big part of that is that there’s only one headquarters there for DMMOs (destination management and marketing organizations),” Brown said. “So it’s a big deal for Durango that we were chosen as the only destination to fill that seat.”

The state tourist board oversees the Colorado Tourist Board and is made up of 11 governor-appointed members and four legislators, Welsh said.

She said Brown’s appointment was “exciting and remarkable news for Durango.”

She said La Plata County is considered a “full partner” to Colorado’s tourism industry and visitors and serves as a “model tourist destination.”

In Brown’s new role on the state tourism board, she will help work with other board members to shape policy and guide “fiscal integrity, advocacy and the creation of a cohesive tourism strategy.” of Colorado,” Welsh said.

What is “destination management”?

Welsh said Visit Durango has been a destination management office — as opposed to a destination marketing office — for three years.

A marketing office, she said, focuses on advertising, marketing and positive economic growth for local businesses. A destination management and marketing organization also allocates resources to manage the environmental impacts of tourism and takes into account the comments and feelings of residents.

Destination management aims for “true sustainability” by considering the natural environment, residents, local culture and economy, Welsh said.

“We work with local organizations to create programs, training and event sponsorships to help create a thriving community and improve residents’ quality of life,” she said.

Visit Durango has partnered with many organizations to meet the criteria of a Destination Management Organization including the San Juan Mountain Association, Durango Trails, Southern Ute Indian Tribe, Adaptive Sports Association, Center for Southwest Independence, Four Corners Alliance for Diversity, the Business Improvement District and others, she says.

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