U survey: Minnesota vacationers will spend more in state this yearTOURISM: Most Minnesotans spend their vacation time inside the state, and two-thirds of them plan to spend as much as or more in 2013 than they did in 2012.
By: John Myers, Duluth News Tribune
Most Minnesotans spend their vacation time inside the state, and two-thirds of them plan to spend as much as or more in 2013 than they did in 2012.
That was the finding of a survey released this week by the University of Minnesota Tourism Center.
The results are good news for the Northland’s tourism industry, a major employer for the region that depends heavily on Twin Cities and other Minnesotans to fill motels, lodges, restaurants and attractions.
Some 48 percent of travelers surveyed said they would spend the same amount on trips this year, while 19 percent said they would spend more. Previous visitor research indicates travelers spend most of their travel dollars on food, followed by nearly equal amounts on lodging, retail, recreation and transportation.
The trend of more spending in recent years shows a slow recovery from the crippling recession in 2008 and 2009 and is “is positive news for the travel and tourism-dependent businesses,” said Ingrid Schneider, director of the Tourism Center.
The tourism industry generates $11.9 billion in leisure and hospitality sales in Minnesota, including $769 million in sales tax, and accounts for nearly 240,000 jobs, according to Explore Minnesota Tourism.
More than 800 telephone interviews were conducted with residents of Minnesota age 18 or older from October to December 2012. The margin for error was 3.5 percent.
According to a poll released in December by the Minnesota Resort and Campground Association, nearly one-fourth of its members said they had “about the best year ever”' in 2012, while another 46 percent said it was a very good season. Only 16 percent said the summer of 2012 was average and 14 percent said not so great.