Edit ModuleShow Tags

More To Tourism


Every dollar invested in state tourism marketing returns an estimated $8 in state and local taxes, $22 in income, and $84 in spending by travelers. Simply put, any investment in spreading the word about the wonderful attractions to be found in our state pays dividends no matter how you calculate—which is why one of the key messages to come out of the recent Explore Minnesota tourism conference is the push to increase funding for the state’s tourism marketing arm, Explore Minnesota.

A funding increase for the state tourism department is long overdue, according to those who work in the industry. When simple investments in tourism marketing results in sales in virtually every county of Minnesota, state officials argue it’s important to invest—not only for the tourism industry itself but for the state as well. Tourism in Minnesota is now a $12 billion dollar industry, generating nearly $769 million in state sales tax revenues, which by the way is 17 percent of Minnesota’s entire sales tax revenues. Yet when in comes to investments in tourism marketing, we are being outspent by other states. Explore Minnesota’s $8.7 million budget is nearly the same as it was in 1990; it currently ranks 30th in the country. Michigan, Illinois, Montana, Wisconsin and South Dakota all outspend Minnesota in tourism marketing, which is why a group of tourism leaders has formed a group, the Minnesota Tourism Growth Coalition, to lobby the Legislature for more funding. Only time will tell.

The message coming out of the conference wasn’t at all dire, despite the urgency for increased funding. Tourism is on the rise. Mayor R.T. Rybak addressed the conference by pointing to many of the investments that will make the Twin Cities region, in particular, an even more important destination in the years to come. Among the investments are Target Field, which will soon host Major League Baseball’s All Star Game, placing Minneapolis, and Minnesota, front and center to a national audience. Other investments in infrastructure will also keep visitors coming back, Rybak said, including the new Minnesota Vikings stadium (which he hopes will one day host a Super Bowl) as wells as the Central Corridor light rail linking Minneapolis and St. Paul.

One of my favorite parts of the annual tourism conference is being able to get an early peak at the new commercials that Explore Minnesota has planned for the coming year. I love this year’s ads. Don’t get me wrong; I liked the recent television spots. If you remember the past couple of years, the ads have featured a cute jingle (that even included a slightly off key Joe Mauer) that asked if you “heard the news,” etc. The 2013 ads are much simpler. They play off the “more to” theme, but only in words on the screen. No singing, no song. Just the sounds of nature and the city, with video shot across the state that sells the region for what it is. One has just been posted on YouTube. Take a look.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

Whether you are a seasoned Twin Cities traveler or planning your first trip to Minnesota, this blog will introduce you to many new adventures to add to your itinerary. From day trips and scenic discoveries to luxurious girls weekends, travel tips, and insider scoops, our editors will give you all the information you need to enjoy your stay Up North.

Learn about the contributing writers.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Travel Blog

Record Store Day: Where to Find Rare Releases in MN

On April 21, rock out at mini-music festivals around the state, dig into gourmet donuts, and collect the rare vinyls available one time a year

Catch the Lyrids Meteor Shower

The meteor shower peaks April 21 and 22, just in time for Earth Day

A Day Trip to Excelsior

Just 20 miles west of the Twin Cities, this waterfront town is complete with charming shops and lakeside dining

Night Art Gallery Is Your Sober Night Out

The Lindstrom art gallery entertains with hors d'oeuvres, tons of art available for purchase, and non-alcholic drinks

Weekend Activities to Satisfy Your Inner-Child

Check out these weekend activities that will have you feeling like a kid again.

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: April

Sue Z.'s picks for philanthropic food events in April will have you supporting women chefs, sipping crafty cocktails, and celebrating Cookie Cart's 30th birthday

A Day Trip to Waconia

Enjoy great views, dining, and craft beverage destinations in this West Metro lakeside town

11 Easter Egg Hunts: From Flashlights to Geocaching

Yes, there's an annual adults-only Easter egg hunt in Rochester—and another for dogs, and another with geocaching, and another that drops them out of the sky. Check out more of the best egg hunts around Minnesota.

Rock Climbing in Minnesota

Rock on this spring at climbing gyms and favorite outdoor spots around Minnesota

5 Natural Wonders in Minnesota

Mother Nature takes the best selfies

Bad Axe Throwing Opens Minneapolis Location

Axe throwing makes its debut in Northeast Minneapolis—and it's not as dangerous as it sounds

Visit Award-Winning Minnesota Distilleries

Tattersall Distilling, J. Carver Distillery, and RockFilter Distillery are all worth the trip

Sue Z.'s Charitable Check-In: March

Sue Z. picks Cochon555 as her philanthropic food event this month

5 Must-See Minnesota Public Gardens

Visiting these botanical wonders are sure to make your daisy
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags