DENVER (KDVR) – The tourism industry was one of the hardest hit during the early stages of the pandemic, but like most industries, it’s found a way to claw back over the past two years.

New data was released Wednesday from VISIT DENVER, which stems from its annual Longwoods International visitor profile study, outlining how well the Mile High City’s tourism industry is recovering. Longwoods has been tracking visitor trends and collecting data on tourism spending since 1994.

Using charts and colorful graphics and a good amount of data, Amir Elyon from Longwoods International explained downtown Denver’s financial status quo.

“Here is the good story; 31.7 million trips taken to Denver in 2021, that is an increase of 14.5%,” Elyon said.

Since 1994, Longwoods International has been tracking visitor trends and collecting key tourism data on visitor totals.

“We still have a little bit of ways to go. You can see that overnight trips were the big winner last year,” Elyon explained.

Denver welcomed 31.7 million visitors in all of 2021, 16.6 million of which stayed overnight and roughly 15.1 million staying for just the day. In all, that is a 14.5% increase from the 2020 figures.

VISIT DENVER President Richard Scharf said the numbers are looking good.

“You know we’re excited first of all that our marketing is working and last year we saw that we were on the way to recovery. Obviously, we have some headwinds this year,” Scharf said, highlighting the challenges posed by inflation, gas prices and the housing market.

Denver visitors spent $6.6 billion in 2021, with $5.5 billion of that coming from overnight visitors whereas $1.1 billion was brought in from day-trippers. That is a 26.2% top over 2020.

“I think we just got to keep putting our foot on the gas and taking advantage of all the great things we have,” Scharf said.

That could be a long trip as VISIT DENVER says Denver still has a ways to go to catch up.

You can watch the news conference discussing the findings on FOX31 NOW in the player above.