A new report released from Hopper Research has revealed that cannabis legalization has had a dramatic impact on the demand for flights to Colorado.
Researchers examined data sources consisting of roughly 10 million queries and 1 billion trips per day, and found that the national search average for flights to Colorado is up, by as much as 63% in some places.
“Through most of December Colorado had similar relative popularity to the rest of the US,” says the report, “but starting at the end of December the popularity of Colorado started to increase. On average, the relative demand for Denver has risen by 6.3% since December 1st, with a peak of 14% higher during the first week of January.” Recreational cannabis sales began in Colorado January 1st, reportedly bringing in more than $5 million the first week.
Researchers ruled out the increase in tourism interest being attributed to other factors, noting that this time last year flight search rates were equal to or below the national average, “suggesting this year’s spike is not just a regular seasonal effect.”
In addition to the spike in the national average, 12 out of the top 50 origin cities searching for flights to Colorado had seen a 25% or more increase in demand since December: Nashville (63% increase), Minneapolis (58%), Detroit (53%), Cincinnati (47%), Madison (37%), Cleveland (37%), Indianapolis (36%), Milwaukee (35%), Omaha (32%), Kansas City (30%), Tampa (29%) and Houston (28%).
The study concluded that, “With the exception of Minneapolis, the locations of increase demand appear to correlate with stricter drug legislation.”