May 6, 2013 Updated: May 6, 2013 at 11:10 am
With National Travel & Tourism Week as the backdrop, the Colorado Springs Convention and Visitors Bureau is shining a spotlight on the value of tourism to the local economy.
More than 5 million visitors travel to the Pikes Peak region each year, pumping more than $1 billion into the economy - that's $42 every second. Tax collections earned from tourism ease the burden on residents, saving the average family of five $402 annually in city and state taxes, according to the CVB.
Residents can cash in on National Travel & Tourism Week through an Instagram contest launched to demonstrate that tourism pays. Residents are encouraged to follow @VisitCOS on Instagram and upload a photo of themselves in front of one of 55 area attractions and activities to Instagram with the hashtag #tourismpays. One grand-prize winner will receive $402; four other prize winners will each receive a 2013 Pikes Peak Country Attractions VIP pass, granting free admission to 20 area attractions such as Cave of the Winds and Iron Springs Melodrama.
The contest began Monday and ends at 5 p.m. May 17. Details can be found at http://visitcos.com/news.