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Learn More About the Leadership Journey

The Colorado Tourism Leadership Journey was created by the Colorado Tourism Office for aspiring leaders with a demonstrated commitment to a career in the tourism industry and a passion for sharing the Colorado experience.

This tuition-based, yearlong program is ideal for high-performing people seeking to advance their effectiveness as tourism leaders. For employers, it offers a cost-effective way to develop, reward and retain top talent. Under the purview of the Colorado Tourism Office and an appointed Leadership Committee, the program aims to strengthen Colorado’s competitive advantage through development of a stronger, more unified tourism industry that will be even better equipped to serve as one of the state’s leading economic drivers.

Selection of Participants

The Class of 2020 will be expanded to 24 industry participants, plus one CTO participant. All participants are selected through a competitive process and must have the support of their employer to participate. Applications for the Class of 2019 will be accepted from April 16, 2019, to June 30, 2019, and Interview with the Selection Committee will be conducted virtually the week of July 15, 2019 and the week of July 22, 2019. Top candidates are referred to the CTO Leadership Committee for final review and selection, with all applicants notified by September 1, 2019.

Required Support Materials: 

  • Required Commitment Form >>
  • Copy of your resume that gives an overview of your employment history, education background, any current affiliations and extracurricular activities.copy of your resume that gives an overview of your employment history, education background, any current affiliations and extracurricular activities.
  • Two letters of recommendation for your participation in this program. Letters should provide a reflection of your work outcomes, talents and leadership potential. At least one of your references must speak to your work performance.

Please note: The application can be found under the Tourism Programs tab. New users will need to register for an account on the OEDIT application portal, and all users are required to login to the portal, update their Accounts Profile and complete the online application. All narrative questions will be inputted into the online portal, and support materials will be uploaded into the online system.

Apply Here >>


Tuition is $2,500 and covers the cost of program facilitation, the primary text and participation in experiential learning opportunities, including attendance at two successive Governor’s Conferences on Tourism and three in locations around the state. Travel and lodging costs (approximately $200 per night) are not included in tuition and are the obligation of the participant and/or employer. Limited scholarships are available, based on need.


Participation in the Leadership Journey represents a significant commitment on the part of those chosen for the program. To complete the program, participants are expected to attend two successive Colorado Governor’s Tourism Conferences as well as three experiential learning opportunities at selected locations in Colorado.

Participants are required to complete all assignments along with an action learning project approved by their employer. A maximum of one excused absence will be allowed to accommodate for extreme circumstances.

The curriculum for the Class of 2019 includes:

  • Five Experiential Learning Opportunities (Dates Subject to Change)
    • Oct. 28–31, 2018 Colorado Governor's Tourism Conference, Vail
    • Jan. 30 – Feb. 1, 2019, Colorado Springs
    • April 10–12, 2019, Grand Junction
    • July 17 - 19, 2019, Fort Collins
    • Sep. 28 - Oct. 1, 2019 Colorado Governor's Tourism Conference, Denver 
  • Required Readings (Readings Subject to Change)
    • The Leadership Challenge (text)
    • Good To Great
    • Speed of Trust
    • Switch
  • Half-hour sessions with assigned mentors
  • 8 1-hour-long small group discussions
  • Completion of an Action Learning Project

Program Outcomes

Through the Colorado Leadership Journey, participants will develop:

  • Leadership skills, including creative team problem-solving, listening and communication skills, emotional intelligence and the development of deeper self-awareness.
  • Lifelong relationships and networking pathways through connection with participants, mentors and presenters.
  • Connections with state and national resources and networks through experiential learning in a variety of Colorado contexts.
  • A sense of shared identity as a contributor to an industry that promotes Colorado’s economy and wellbeing.


CLASS OF 2018 >>


For questions and application submissions, email [email protected].