Last updated: 05:32 PM ET, Fri March 27 2015

Hotel Searches Rise Where Marijuana is Legal

Destination & Tourism | David Cogswell | March 27, 2015

Hotel Searches Rise Where Marijuana is Legal

Photo by David Cogswell

According to search figures from, legalization of marijuana is not hurting tourism business in the states where it has become legal. In fact, searches for hotels in all the states where recreational marijuana has become legal have risen.

According to’s figures, searches for hotels in Colorado on a global basis were up 24 percent in 2014 over 2013. Searches within the U.S. for Colorado were up by a larger margin, 26 percent.

Recreational marijuana became legal in Colorado Jan. 1, 2014.

The city of Denver saw a larger spike in 2014 over 2013. Globally searches for Denver were up 47 percent. Searches for Denver from within the U.S. were up 50 percent.

Washington state, where recreational use became legal July 8, 2014, saw a 37 percent rise in searches globally between the period of July 1-Dec. 31, 2013, and that of July 1-Dec. 31, 2014, a year later. Searches within the U.S. grew by 40 percent during the same period.

The city of Seattle saw a boost of 55 percent in international searches and 61 percent in domestic searches.

Domestic searches for Alaska rose from period Feb. 24-March 15, 2014, to the same period in 2015 by 11 percent. International searches grew by 14 percent.

International searches for hotels in Oregon rose by 27 percent between the period Jan. 1-March 15, 2014, and the same period in 2015, just ended. Domestic searches for Oregon rose by 26 percent during that period.

International searches for Washington D.C. rose 21 percent between the period of Feb. 26 and March 15, 2014, and the same period in 2015. Domestic searches for Washington D.C. rose by 22 percent in the same period.

Little can be concluded from the search figures. Many other factors besides marijuana legalization may be at work to affect the results.

It’s impossible to say from these figures if marijuana is a boost to tourism. But it is possible to say that it has not led to a decline in tourism.


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