Minnesota’s tourism industry wraps up a good summer
ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota tourism industry is concluding a hot summer season, despite the wet, cool start. Business "is experiencing its fifth year of growth in a row," said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism. Edman, former directo...
ST. PAUL - The Minnesota tourism industry is concluding a hot summer season, despite the wet, cool start.
Business “is experiencing its fifth year of growth in a row,” said John Edman, director of Explore Minnesota Tourism.
Edman, former director of destination marketing at Carlson, the global travel and hospitality firm, now promotes Bemidji and Bloomington instead of Berlin and Bali.
Nearly half of Minnesota lodging businesses said summer occupancy was up, and 58 percent cited increased revenue compared with last summer, according to a recent Explore Minnesota survey of 222 hotels, motels, resorts and other places to stay. Less than a quarter said revenue was down. Smith Travel Research, which conducted the survey, reported stronger growth in Minnesota than in the nation overall in June and July, Edman said. Occupancy was
76.3 percent statewide compared with 73.6 percent nationwide. It is the first year Minnesota summer occupancy rates exceeded prerecession levels.
Minnesota survey respondents had a positive outlook for fall travel, with 40 percent of businesses anticipating higher revenue than last year.
The tourism agency had its budget increased from $8.4 million to $13.9 million for this year and next by the Minnesota Legislature. Now it is marketing the state through social media and other advertising as far away as Chicago and Denver. Tourists from afar tend to stay longer.